WOTMT
What we did yesterday
Trucks boys gobsmacked at first matchday sell of the All Wednesday fanzine

What Wednesdayites – or for that matter any football fans – aren’t familiar with those away games where you finish up saying “It was a brilliant day, except for the match in the middle of it”. Yesterday Steve and I had the strange sensation of the same thing happening but with Wednesday at home.

As we pulled the All Wednesday one-off fanzine together we have spent the last few weeks in “suppose we throw a party and nobody comes” mode. We both get that thing whereby social media can make you think that everybody is really excited about something but then you realise that it’s really just a handful of people tweeting about it and everyone else is oblivious to it. So, in our quiet moments we wondered whether that might be the case with the fanzine.

In the run-up to yesterday’s big first sell we had tried to cover as many bases as we could. The Star ran a lovely piece on its inside back cover on Thursday and Alan Biggs had very kindly made room on his Sheffield Live sofa for Steve to squeeze alongside him on Thursday evening (“he’s much better at this than you” my loyal and supportive wife muttered!). In addition – once we had taken delivery of the fanzines on Thursday morning - initial interest for mail order copies (some of them going to proper distant and exotic locations) and sales to friends and work colleagues were encouraging.

With one week to go the only sellers Steve and I had in place for yesterday were….Steve, Meghan (Steve's 6 yr old daughter) and I. But as the week progressed this number magically grew to seven - Glenn Poulton, 'Pablo Bonvin', Matt Naylor, Matt Exton and his mate Sean who was assistant cameraman on the brilliant All Wednesday film which is now guaranteed a dvd shaped place in so many of our Christmas stockings. We had also tried to cover off a few other bases such as the Riverside CaféBar, the Wednesdayite Lounge, the New Bridge Inn and of course the New Barrack Tavern. We worked out where our sellers were going to stand and issued each of them with seventy copies (though I snuck an extra ten in my bag). Wednesdayite let us park the car loaded with fanzines near the ground. We agreed that we would start selling from 1.30 but some of us were giddy enough to be under way fifteen minutes before that.

It’s fair to say that the outcome gobsmacked us. My 80 sold out by twenty to three and just as I was selling the last one I was joined by our mate Matt Naylor to say that he had sold the last of his seventy at twenty-five to. We scuttled to the North Stand turnstiles where Steve had a handful left and we’d got all of them sold in time to get in and be in our seats in plenty of time for kick-off.

Once inside - and as Reach slotted in his goal - it looked for a few minutes as if it was going to be the perfect day. Sadly however, and with Wednesday by popular consent the better team, Frank Lampard’s Derby County (as we must now all call them) took advantage of our schoolyard defending and headed back south with the points. There’ll no doubt be loads more on this site about our current predicament over the coming days, but now isn’t really the moment.

Like on many other days we headed back to the post-match Barracks to lick our wounds of defeat but at least this time it was underpinned by our astonishment at how well the fanzine had sold. The Barracks had about 15 of the fifty we had left them still available but with a bit of enthusiastic intervention from Steph these had gone within the hour (including one to a bunch of curmudgeonly Carnty fans who said they were going to leave it behind but then didn’t).

So, after a week of worrying that we weren’t going to sell enough to cover our printing costs we are now worrying about how we meet what we know is a bit of unmet demand. We still have a handful of fanzines left and will hopefully be selling those on Tuesday night but we’ll also be having a chat with our printer about how much it would cost to get a few more printed and what the turnaround time might be. Hutch (surprise surprise) didn’t play yesterday so the front cover is still current but Mick McCarthy’s probable move to manage the Republic is already scuppering one of the captions. We’ll keep everyone informed of where we go with this via social media.

So, why did the selling go so well? Clearly one aspect is the donating of any profits to the Children’s hospital charity (someone at work paid £10 for one copy for that very reason) and the Children’s are already £100s to the good from all this. But the feedback from our customers was hugely heartening. People asked where we have been for so long, said how much they used to enjoy the paper fanzines (not just WOTMT but the whole gamut) and one of our sellers was told that there’s nothing like actually holding a paper fanzine. Twitter was alive with people saying stuff like they had read it on the bus home, just like in the old days.

The other question I was asked repeatedly was whether we were going to make this a regular thing. That certainly wasn’t the plan when we started all this as a one-off celebration linked to the All Wednesday film, and if you’d asked Steve and I that a week or two ago as we were sat swearing at young people’s technology in his dining room we just might have said never again. But now we are already having a think about whether there might be mileage in doing some more. My sense is that the other former fanzine editors who got on board with this might be up for more (another high point yesterday was seeing Gray Lightfoot up from Cornwall and going to the match with his granddaughter – I think we both went a bit misty-eyed at seeing paper fanzines on sale again), and social media does now make it easier to get contributions in. We’ll give it some more thought and would welcome the views of fellow Wednesdayites on whether doing more paper stuff has legs.

But in the meantime we want to thank everyone so much for the interest shown in the fanzine and to once again thank everyone who contributed and sold. And of course we want to again thank Matt Exton for the inspiration and zeal that his film has given us. Even people who didn’t buy a fanzine saw the title and said “We’re all Wednesday aren’t we?” We chuffin’ are!     

 

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15.12.2018
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