I haven’t updated the blog in a few months now due to being busy organising a wedding and complete life change but as things are starting to come together nicely I’ve decided come back into the world and start blogging again, it’s just a shame I have to start at a sad point with the passing of yet another Everton legend and hero.
Just shy of two weeks ago one of the greatest goalkeepers to ever stand between the Goodison Park sticks passed away after battling with cancer. Though a Yorkshire man born and bred, Gordon West was a diehard Evertonian, a fantastic goalkeeper and a true ambassador of the club. Signed from Blackpool in 1962 his career at Everton spanned over 11 years which saw him start between the sticks over 400 times achieving 2 League medals and FA Cup winners medal and FA Cup runners medal. Although his career at Everton was nothing short of spectacular West only ever received 3 caps for England between 1968-69. After leaving Everton West had a brief spell across the Mersey in Birkenhead with Tranmere Rovers before retiring to take up a role in security as well as being a guest speaker at Sportsman dinners in Merseyside on many occasions.
West was one of those players that my Grandad and Dad would tell me stories about, his heroics and excellect performances in goal was a thing of legends, my Dad even went as far as saying that West was one his first true inspirational footballing icons and made him want to become a goalkeeper the same way Neville Southall inspired me as a young lad. West was known as fantastic character with a huge personality and would happily speak to any Everton and wind up any Liverpool fan. I was lucky enough to run into Gordon back in 2007 on the way home from an away trip to Fratton Park. Despite it being a miserably cold, wet December night and dull Everton draw, West, and one his sons, was happy to chat away to me for a good while whilst sitting in an empty services drinking a cup of coffee.
West was laid to rest after a huge service at Liverpool Cathedral a few days ago attended by hundreds of former Blue and Red players/managers and fans. He will be sorely missed by all Evertonians.
R.I.P Gordon West 1943-2012 – “Nil Satis Nisioptimum”
I know I had a moan about the crappyness of 2011 in the last blog, however if there was one decent thing to take from last year it was the rise and my discovery of more independently written zines popping up here and there. One of my most recent, and favourite, reads last year was the very first issue of newly formed Liverpool (is right la) mag HALCYON. I first stumbled across Halcyon back in August when mooching about on twitter, at the time Halcyon was just a new webzine that was just starting off full of cracking little articles revolving around Football, Fashion, Film and Music one of which was published in August 2011’s issue of When Skies Are Grey (Everton fanzine). Not long after discovering the site and talking to a couple of the lads behind it via twitter I bumped into Dan (Sandison -Editor) and Rob (Gavin – Contributor/Co-Editor) at Weavers Door 1st Anniversary Birthday bash who made me aware that they were currently working on a potential paper version which got me rather excited and intrigued. So after a few months of keeping it on the sly the first issue of HALCYON Magazine was released just before Christmas, and I do have to honestly say it’s rather good.
The first thing you’ll notice about the zine is how well presented it is. Most “first issues” tend to be rather DIY and cut and paste and rough, not this one however. The magazine is presented in a rather excellent matted A4 complete with a good blend of greyscale and coloured imagery. Makes me wonder had I put that much effort into my zine (WithinXreach) when I was involved in the hardcore and straight edge scene years ago maybe I would have actually well, you know, released it. The articles are fantastically well written including a great interview with (now) Former WBC Super Middleweight champion Carl Froch prior to his bout with with Andre Ward last month in which he was stripped of his title after his 13 month reign. Other great articles in the mag include a a deck out with Liverpool indie outfit The Loud courtesy of the brilliant Weavers Door, an Average Footballer hall of fame featuring a Coventry City “Legend”, brand profiling of independently owned clothing brand “80’s Casuals” and a brilliant interview/article “Style Guide” with DJ Phat Phil Cooper a piece I found very intriguing myself as a bigger chap with an eye for smart clobber.
All in all the magazine, considering it’s a first issue, is excellent. I don’t think the lads behind it would be too upset with me if I said, being that it is a Liverpool based mag, there is definitely a “The End” influence in the magazine and although the execution is rather different (more concentrated and serious and a little less piss-takey, if that’s even a word) the general concept of the mag is on the same frame of mind i.e “Music, beer and football” (amongst other things) but in the end that’s NEVER a bad thing in my eyes, after all a great man once said that these subject matters were “The very stuff of life itself.” and let’s be honest, I think John Peel knew what he was talking about despite working for the BBC.
You can still pick up one of the last remaining copies of the mag from Weavers Door, Ran and Probe in Liverpool and in Ran and Oi Polloi in Manchester as well as a few other shops, check their FACEBOOK page or TWITTER for more details of where you can pick up a physical copy from. However, if by the time you read this and cannot get a copy of the zine you can view it on their website HERE. Oh did I mention it’s completely FREE as well, seriously, don’t sleep on this one.