So after 105 issues, eighteen years and approximately 300 homes games selling the fanzine to Gillingham fans we have decided to call it a day. It wasn’t a decision we took lightly and it will mark the end of an era for us but to be honest myself (Eddie Allcorn), Simon Baker and Chris Lynham had been edging reluctantly towards this decision for a while now. It wasn’t a case of giving up on the Gills, and if we could simply publish without having to do all the nitty-gritty, the selling (thanks Bjorn, Matt & Wolfie), the sending out to subscribers and the lugging it up to the now sadly defunct Sportspages in London (thanks again Matt) and the rush to meet deadlines we’d probably continue but that isn’t the case.
The aim now is to catch up with the 21st century and launch a Brian Moore’s Head website for next season. We are still at the planning stage but have had plenty of advice and offers to help set it all up. The plan is to initially have quite a simple website (don’t go expecting flashing lights, bells and whistles), there isn’t much point in having a message board because the Rivals one at Gills connect is vibrant enough and there is no point in diluting that, so we will concentrate on what we have done previously on paper. So there should still be match reports, historical stuff, piss taking and general debate about all things Gills but without the pressure of specific deadlines.
This should hopefully enable us to carry on the Brian Moore’s Head name and tradition although it will of course be different. We won’t have specific publication dates, we will simply upload stuff when we feel like it and it gets written. Hopefully other Gills fans will feel free to contribute, we’ll sort out the detail when we’ve decided exactly what format will suit our modest ambitions.
We all appreciate not all BMH readers are online but with few people sending in additional material (hello Lee, we’re still waiting on that Motherwell Cup Final article) and nobody begging to take over, it is the internet or nothing I’m afraid… It will also allow a potentially larger readership to access BMH including exiles that don’t get to Priestfield as often as they’d like. The old ethos of the fanzine movement born of the frustration of the 1980’s still continues within fan culture and the issues facing both Gillingham and the wider game remain, from financial difficulties to a chronic inability to put the spherical object in the flipping onion bag, but in one sense our job has been done. Football fans now have a voice, from Supporters Trusts running clubs recovering from the ravages of dodgy asset strippers via thick blokes down the pub mouthing off on radio phone-ins, to heated debates in cyberspace we no longer have to settle for what we are told officially and swallow it.
Football has changed radically in the last eighteen years, not always for the best but on balance it is much more pleasant (and expensive) going to football these days. Hopefully all the hundreds of fanzines that have exited over the last twenty years that gave a voice to the previously disenfranchised fans played a part in that process, it was certainly needed back in the mid- 80’s!
We will endeavour to still fight the good fight and offer the opportunity for fans to voice their concerns; their joy, their obsessions and their outrage as Gillingham Football Club continue their odyssey through the Leagues. We don’t rule out publishing another paper BMH ever again, there might be the odd sporadic issue hitting the street in the future, perhaps if we go bust and end up having to start all over again in the Kent League… or to mark our debut season in the Champions League… but if you want to continue to read the ravings and rantings of fellow Gills fans then I suggest you Google us in August.
We will put the word out when we are up and running, but until that time if you can help out technically or have any constructive advice for us prior to making our cyberspace debut then don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’ll need all the help we can get!
Finally we have to thank everyone that has ever read, written or sold Brian Moore’s Head. It has brought us into contact with a huge number of Gillingham fans of all shapes and sizes, 99% of which have appreciated our efforts. You might not have always agreed with what we wrote, but it came from the heart as Gills fans. At least I won’t ever have to utter the immortal phrase “No, it isn’t the bloody programme” again!
So farewell fellow Gills fans, hope to see you all in cyberspace sometime soon, it has, as ever, been emotional. UP THE GILLS.