When Saturday Comes recently celebrated its 30th anniversary with a special edition that contained a facsimile of its first issue (the ugly cut & paste layout reminding you long ago 1986 was).
I didn’t read WSC#1, but I remember staring to read it in the late 80s, when it was the most prominent of the football fanzines that you would find outside football games as well as in record shops and other places. WSC and a few competitors covered the national scene (in Scotland we had The Absolute Game). But the most interesting thing about the scene was how each club would have at least a couple of fanzines fighting for prominence.
The whole thing would make a decent case study for an MBA student. Was First Mover Advantage always important for a club fanzine, or could you be disrupted by a later competitor with a better cartoonist and access to a colour photocopier? Were consumers loyal to their club’s fanzines or would they read well-regarded zines from other clubs? (I always enjoyed Aberdeen’s The Northern Light despite being a Celtic fan, but I drew the line at reading one that covered the other lot). The fanzines were crude, but they were definitely filling a need: there were football fans out there who had outgrown Shoot! and wanted something different from Saint & Greavsie. They were also frustrated with their club’s official programme (the most popular Celtic fanzine called itself Not The View, to distinguish itself from the club’s The Celtic View, which it referred to as “Pravda”).
In the end, competition caught up. First, magazines such as FourFourTwo appeared. Then, newspapers greatly expanded their football coverage. Finally, the internet came along with newsgroups, blogs and forums. Discussing football is now commoditized, no SAE required.