A fanzine is a non-professional publication produced by fans of a particular cultural phenomenon for the pleasure of others who share their interest. The term was coined in an October 1940. Typically, publishers, editors and contributors to fanzines receive no financial compensation. Fanzines were traditionally circulated free of charge, or for a nominal cost to defray postage or production expenses. Some fanzines have evolved into professional publications (sometimes known as "prozines"), and many professional writers were first published in fanzines; some continue to contribute to them after establishing a professional reputation. The term fanzine is sometimes confused with "fan magazine", but the latter term most often refers to commercially-produced publications such as "Hammers News" published by M Press Sales Ltd.
A popular definition for a fanzine, includes that circulation must be 5,000 or less and the intention of the publication is not primarily to raise a profit. Fanzines are written in a variety of formats, from computer-printed text to comics to handwritten text. Print remains the most popular fanzine format, in the early days of Hammers fanzines these were usually photo-copied with a small circulation. The time and materials necessary to create a zine are seldom matched by revenue from sale of zines.
Small circulation zines are often not explicitly copyrighted and there is a strong belief among many zine creators that the material within should be freely distributed. In recent years a number of photocopied zines have risen to professional status and have found wide bookstore distribution, including West Ham's most popular fanzine "Over Land And Sea".
The late 1980's saw the growth of the fanzine. Supporters inceasingly frustrated with the many changes they saw before them, and the football fanzines gave the real fans their only real voice. Below are the "Fanzines" and "Fan Magazines" associated with the Hammers...
First Issue: No. 1 (August 1954)
Last Issue: 1960
Hammerscope can claim to be the very first fanzine associated with the Hammers.
This official publication of the West Ham United Supporters Club was priced at 1d and was aimed at all supporters of the club.
WEST HAM STATISTICIANS GROUP
First Issue: Newsletter No. 1 (November 1980)
Last Issue: Newsletter No. 62 (August 1987)
John Northcutt started the Statisticians Group to bring together supporters who enjoyed keeping statistics on the Hammers with a view to putting together a complete statistical history on the club. The club had around 135 UK members with a further 15 from abroad. With everyone's help in the clubs seven-year existence John believed that they had achieved their aims.
The West Ham Statisticians Group also issued 3 club annuals
First Issue: Vol. 1 No. 1 (September 1981)
Last Issue: Vol. 2 No. 3 (December 1982)
Hammers Monthly was West Ham United's Official Club colour magazine. With the team having returned to top flight football the club decided to publish a monthly magazine. This was to be the first of its kind in London.
Alas like many good ideas the magazine only lasted 9 Issues due to production difficulties.
First Issue: Newsletter No. 1 (September 1983)
Last Issue: Newsletter No. 24 (August 1985)
As far as I can tell this may have been the very first "Fanzine" type publication that featured the Hammers. Produced on a monthly basis at the start of the 1983-84 campaign by Paul Giller. This 12 page very basic photocopied publication, featured current season typed match reports along with a collection of past season's newspaper articles and cartoons. Relied too heavily on membership participation, the publication folded due to production costs.
Hammers News - First Issue
First Issue: Vol. 1 No. 1 (January 1987)
Last Issue: Vol. 14 Issue 7 (March 2008)
Hammers News was launched in January 1987 as a very modest tabloid newspaper, with just two spot colours. In 1991, full colour was introduced to the covers and centre pages, but it was not until August 1994 that the title adopted its very successful magazine format, with every page printed in full colour.
Hammers News has gained a well-earned reputation as one of the most impressive, authoritative magazines in the football publishing sector. It’s well-balanced editorial content and contemporary design combines the obvious strength and authority of an official club magazine – with exclusive access to the players and management – with a refreshingly candid approach to the views of the Hammers players and supporters, whose critical opinions are to be found in every issue.
Hammers Magazine - First Issue
THE EASTEND CONNECTION
First Issue: No. 1 (June 1988)
Last Issue: No. 2 (August 1988)
According to the editor Simon Matters this 12-page fanzine was produced for the sole purpose of being an outlet for all West Ham and football fans in general to voice their views. Eastend Connection can claim to be the first of the modern day fanzines.
A first edition print run of 75 copies sold out on the very first day of issue at Sportspages in central London.
The 24-page second edition rose in price by 5p to 25 pence a had an increase print run of 125 copies.
The demise of the fanzine came when West Ham United threatened legal action against the editor for using the Hammer's trading name and club crest.
NEVER MIND THE BOLEYN
First Issue: No. 1 (Autumn 1988)
Last Issue: No. 4 (Winter 1989)
FORTUNE'S ALWAYS HIDING
First Issue: No. 1 (February / March 1989)
Last Issue: No. 17 (April / May 1992)
Joint Fanzine between Dundee United suppporter Philip Joyce and West Ham United fan Simon Matters. The magazine was intended to bridge the North, South divide.
The Fanzine was somewhat unique in that its editors have never actually met one another and have only ever conducted business over the telephone and post.
For Simon this new adventure came after his other fanzine "The Eastend Connection" was struggling for articles and folded after two editions.
Once again, what seemed like a good idea at the time was let down with the lack of support material coming forward. "UTD United" faired slightly better then "Eastend Connection" but only just, publishing just three editions.
First Issue: No. 1 (December 1988)
Last Issue: No. 3 (June 1989)
THE BOLEYN SCORCHER
First Issue: No. 1 (August 1989)
Last Issue: No. 4 (December 1989)
Can You Help
With a copy of the First Edition?
OLAS - OVER LAND AND SEA
First Issue: No. 1 (August 1989)
Last issue: No. 629 (May 2016)
Over Land and Sea was at the forefront of Fanzines to hit the streets around Upton Park in 1989.
Picture it, match day in Green Street standing on top of a three-rung ladder propped up against a lamp column clutching a handful of OLAS and Gary (Editor G) Firmager's voice bellowing down Green Street.
Gary's vast knowledge and insight into our beloved club along with his style of reporting that pulls no punches, coupled with the fantastic cartoon's of John Chandler, OLAS was a serious contender to buying an official matchday programme and a testament to why they had survived so long.
After 27-years and 629 issues the last edition of OLAS coincided with the Hammers last game at the Boleyn Ground.
First Issue: No. 1 (September 1989)
Last Issue: No. 3 (November 1989)
The Loyal Supporters was a short lived publicaton which first hit the streets around the Boleyn Ground in Septeber 1989, lasting just three months before it folded with the November 1989 edition.
Can You Help
With a copy of the First Edition?
WEST HAM UNITED SUPPORTERS' ASSOCIATION
This newsletter was a direct result of Hammers promotion back to the First Division. The idea of the Supporters' Association was to keep fans in touch with the club. Alas this publication fell by the wayside as so many fanzines did around that time. It promised much, but delivered little.
First Issue: No.1 (Summer 1991)
ON A MISSION
First Issue: No. 1 (August 1992)
Last Issue: No.6 (April 2000)
One of the more successful Fanzines to featue the Hammers. Issue in 1992 it ran for eight years until April 2000.
For each new season the fanzine number reverted back to number 1.
First Issue: No. 1 (September 1992)
Last Issue: No. ?? (August 1995)
after which it was incorporated into OLAS
Home Alone was initially issued as an independent publication and later became the sister magazine of Over Land And Sea. This fanzine was aimed specifically at the programme buyers.
First edition was for the West Ham United v. Derby County game in the Barclays League Division One fixture played Sunday 20th September 1992
FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES
First Issue: No. 1 (August 1994)
Last Issue: No. 7 (May 1995)
‘Forever Blowing Bubbles’ came out of the same stable as ‘Home Alone’ The peoples programme and ‘Over Land and Sea’. Essentially the editors took the best features from both publications coupled with interviews and invited the reader to participation with written articles.
The format of the fanzine worked to some extent but lasted just nine short months and running to seven issues.
WE ATE ALL THE PIES
First Issue: No. 1 (January 1995)
Last Issue: No. 8 (December 1995)
‘We Ate All The Pies’ fanzine was issued in January 1995 with their ‘Pork Pie’ edition and promised to be the brightest and funniest, informative with useful information and lots of laughs.
Along with a few light hearted moments concerning the boys in claret and blue. Eight editions later, their ‘Cherry Pie’ issue in December was to be their last.
THE COCKNEY PRIDE
First Issue: No. 1 (August 1995)
Last Issue: No. 3 (October 1995)
The Cockney Pride started out as a monthly publication at the beginning of the 1995-96 season, the intention from the four main editors was to produce one at every home game.
Alas like so many before it, lack of content, coupled with poor sales the publication lasted just three issues.
First and Last Issue: No. 1 (August 1995)
Another publication that jumped on the Fanzine bandwagon and fell by the wayside just as quick.
The 'Ultimate Truth' was aimed at the serious West Ham fan. The simple truth was it was not up to scratch and it was laid to rest after just the one issue. RIP.....
THE WATER IN MAJORCA
First Issue: No. 1 (March 1996)
Last Issue: No. 12 (April 1998)
You guessed it, another fanzine that promised to be different from all the rest with a few laughs thrown in for good measure. As the editor points out in his editorial, West Ham fans are renowned for their wit and they just want to have a laugh.
He goes on to say that you are probably only reading the fanzine because you had some loose change in your pocket, at 50p it was worth a punt.
Two-years and 12 editions later the fanzine folded due to lack of interest.
THE ULTIMATE DREAM
First Issue: No. 1 (October 1996)
Last Issue: No. 44 (October 1998)
Another fanzine that promised much, and to be fair, unlike a few of their predecessors they did deliver on the content front.
To their credit 'The Ultimate Dream' ran for 44 issues over two-years before it folded.
First and Last Issue: No. 1 (September 1997)
The introduction started so well.
“Hello and welcome to the newest West Ham Fanzine in town”. This will hopefully be the first issue of a two a season fanzine.....
I won’t print the rest of the introduction its not worthy of comment and It's hardly surprising that this was their first and last issue.
ON THE TERRACES
First Issue: No. 1 (August 1998)
Last Issue: No. 120 (April 2004)
Another publication to jump on the Fanzine bandwagon. Supporter publications around this time were being produced using the latest technology that high street print shops offered. Not so this one, it looked and felt very amateurish.
The homemade looking fanzine was not the best around, but at 40p you couldn't grumble too much as others were selling at £1.50.
If I was a gambling man, I would have put money on this being their first and last issue.
It didn't bode well when their back page footnote: says, "The next issue will appear when we can get it together with sufficient info...."
Get it together they did, 'On the Terraces' went on to be one of the best selling Hammers fanzines around the Boleyn Ground running to 120 issues.
THE ILL-FATED "BOND SCHEME"
'On The Terraces' Editor Marc Williams gave me the opportunity through the fanzine pages to exhibit some of my illustrations and doodles. The publication also allowed me to vent my frustration at the clubs ill-fated introduction of "The Bond Scheme" in 1993
UPN - UPTON PARK NEWS
First Issue: No. 1 (Summer 1998)
Last Issue: No.7 (Summer 2003)
This club newspaper was short-lived with the First Issue coming out in the summer of 1998.
The publication was given free to Executive club members, Box holders, Club members and Season ticket holders.
First Issue: No.1 (November 1998)
Last Issue: No.171 (February 2007)
EX - The West Ham Retro Magazine
First Issue: No. 1 - August 2002
Last Issue: No. 79 - July 2016
EX first hit the streets around the Boleyn Ground in August 2016. The retro magazine's nostalgic journey through the Hammers past ran for nearly 14-years.
Tony McDonald and his staff can be rightly proud of what they achieved with their publication which was dedicated to West Ham United's past players and management.
The last edition in July 2016 coincided with West Ham's impending move to the new Olympic Stadium in Stratford.
Thank you for the journey.....
First Issue: No.1 (???)
Latest Issue: No. (???)
Well produced publication by Gjermund Holt for the Scaninavian Hammers
First Issue: No.1 (August 2012)
Latest Issue: No.61 (August 2016)
Latest Issue: No.61
First Issue: No.1 (January 2016)
Latest Issue: No.4 (May 2016)
5 Managers' editor Joe England issued four editions of his fanzine to coincide with the last season at the Boleyn Ground.
NPLH (No Place Like Home)
First Issue: No.1 (September 2017)
Latest Issue: ?
Editor Joseph Fordham followed up his highly successful book with a monthly fanzine publication of the same name 'No Place Like Home'.
Fordham's original book included 112 portraits and personal accounts celebrating the historic Boleyn Ground.