Leeds United fanzine The Square Ball is aiming to show it has the write stuff once again as the new football season kicks off this weekend.
The publication was named the country’s best fanzine last year in the annual Football Supporters’ Federation Awards.
And with a bumper 84-page full-colour edition going on sale at United’s first game of the season tomorrow at Elland Road, it is clearly in no mood to give up its title.
Square Ball production team member Michael Normanton said: “We won the award in 2011 and again last year so we’re going all out to win in two consecutive years.”
Michael and his fellow Square Ballers, Paul O’Dowd, Daniel Chapman, Dan Moylan and Eamonn Dalton, have had a busy pre-season fine-tuning their winning formula.
Paul said: “We have some fantastic writers and illustrators on board and we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved with the magazine.
“The Square Ball is entering its 26th season and we’re constantly looking to make it bigger and better.”
The fanzine is also planning a charity event following the success of a walk from Elland Road to Rotherham last October.
It raised more than £8,000 for the Leeds Children’s Hospital Appeal and the Luey Jacob Sharp Foundation, set up by ex-Leeds striker Billy Sharp after the death of his baby son.
Leeds Children’s Hospital Appeal business development manager Sharon Evans said: “We’re really thankful to the team at The Square Ball.
“They offer us free advertising space within the magazine which helps us to raise awareness for various events throughout the year.”
For details about paper and digital subscriptions, visit www.thesquareball.net.
Famously written “by the fans for the fans”, The Square Ball’s first issue was published during United’s unforgettable promotion-winning season of 1989-90.
It featured a typically combative interview with United cult hero Vinnie Jones, who told the magazine: “A ******* idiot could come here and know the fans are brilliant.”