Peter Hooton: My Favourite Football Articles From The End

It was the very first football fanzine, and believe it or not, sandwiched somewhere between the jibes at Yorkshiremen and poems from prison inmates, there was actually some articles about football....
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It was the very first football fanzine, and believe it or not, sandwiched somewhere between the jibes at Yorkshiremen and poems from prison inmates, there was actually some articles about football....

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Some of my favourite articles in The End were related to football.

The Secret World of Amateur footballers Vol 14 was simply an observation that sometime back in the 1980’s people stopped using normal sports bags and ended up walking into the pub before and after their match with a massive bag (usually Head) that were meant for tennis players on a world tour. We used to see these characters after the match when the bags would be piled up obstructing your way to the bar or the toilets. You dare not ask them politely to move these as you were likely to incur the wrath of the whole team. These bags were a badge of honour the bigger the better but they also looked hilarious. What on earth did they have in those bags?

Another favourite was What’s Wrong With Football? in Vol 16 which pointed out that the game had lost much of its appeal due to the lack of genuine baldness on the pitch. Not the modern crop haired variety but the lack of genuine comb over baldies like Ralph Coates, Nobby Stiles, George Cohen and Bobby Charlton. The golden age of British football we argued had been full of them but the 80’s seemed to lack the once ubiquitous comb over. This was obviously the main problem with the game in that period and we knew it..

Even though The End wasn’t primarily a football fanzine we were however obsessed with football terrace fashions. The Disappearing World of The Wool was basically a back- handed compliment to Leeds fans who had started to become fashionable.

Mexico 1986 Vol 18 also came under the spotlight as we analysed why pundits on panels thought it was essential to attempt humour when they weren’t naturally gifted in that department. They failed miserably of course but the BBC was trying to keep up with the Saint & Greavsie show which did have its moments. On The Ball we argued was great because it was spontaneous but as soon as the TV executives decided Ian St John and Jimmy Greaves were ‘sit down’ comedians it all went downhill very quickly. We also looked at the actual sayings the commentators came out with during games and what they really meant i.e. ‘ferocious in his appetite for the game’ really meant ‘a dirty little bastard’ ‘nice controlled football’ a crap boring England performance (some things never change)

Even though The End wasn’t primarily a football fanzine we were however obsessed with football terrace fashions. The Disappearing World of The Wool was basically a back- handed compliment to Leeds fans who had started to become fashionable and had abandoned the scarves around the wrist syndrome and started to dress in a casual style. Some people got it some didn’t but The End seemed to strike a cord with many and still seems to raise a laugh as it concentrated on boasters and bullshitters who we all know are still very much in abundance.

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