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Wednesday, 31 May 2017 - 11:27
lady footballers at pittodrie

fine display by dick kerr's xi

plucky display by aberdeen team

Friday, 14 April 2017 - 17:34
a fanzine story
thirty years old this year - the northern light and its heirs
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 - 15:51
one for the statos
lennie loses a goal
Tuesday, 01 November 2016 - 10:50
prized programme gifted to afc heritage
rare programme from aberdeen's first european away match added to the aberdeen collection
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 - 18:05
big red quiz 2016
come and have a go if you think you're red enough!
Saturday, 03 September 2016 - 10:36
peacock add to the aberdeen collection
the dons and pink floyd come together on the peacock stand at the aaf
Tuesday, 19 July 2016 - 18:39
jimmy philip medal
jimmy gains a canadian gift
Tuesday, 07 June 2016 - 16:21
whips remembered
special memento of the washington whips team.
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 - 20:01
tales from the dugout
a collection of sometimes ribald football stories about what goes on in dugouts across the country.
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 - 15:34
armistice day at pittodrie
2015 commemoration
Remembrance Poppy
Tuesday, 27 October 2015 - 14:44
big red quiz 2015
annual challenge to find the reddest fans around!
Sunday, 06 September 2015 - 14:42
if goalposts could talk
the life and times of inverurie locomotive works football club
by david r. fasken
Sunday, 30 August 2015 - 17:40
graham leggat - star of the a. f. c.
always a hero
Saturday, 01 August 2015 - 16:17
opening day 1899
language, gentlemen, please!
Saturday, 22 November 2014 - 16:44
historic poster revealed
afc heritage and buckie thistle rescue a shared piece of aberdeenshire cup history
Monday, 10 November 2014 - 16:25
armistice day at pittodrie
the sixth annual commemoration to remember aberdeen fc's war dead to be held.
Monday, 13 October 2014 - 11:53
vintage boots discovered
a pair of football boots dating to 1904 to go on show at pittodrie.
Saturday, 11 October 2014 - 11:59
big red quiz a big red success
knowledgeable dons fans help raise funds for afc heritage
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 - 20:34
big red quiz night
show off your dandy knowledge and help the funds of the afc heritage trust - friday 10th october 2014.
come and have a go if you think you know enough!
Thursday, 17 July 2014 - 16:54
a view on football
aberdeen under the football fiend. (by an occasional)
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 - 12:59
a new display for the latest trophy
dons' fans help to get the league cup on show at pittodrie
Monday, 31 March 2014 - 14:02
coca-cola bike winner announced
stephen's bike goes north
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 - 13:56
happy real birthday aberdeen
aberdonian football hits 132 years old.
Friday, 14 February 2014 - 11:47
king of the wild frontier
sing a song of graham leggat
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 - 16:10
remembrance event on monday
pittodrie remembers
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 - 15:05
medal comes home to pittodrie
after 66 years willie waddell's cup medal finds a new home
Thursday, 08 August 2013 - 13:14
1904 and all that
the "1904 door" sorted
Sunday, 24 March 2013 - 15:09
the aberdeen collection growing
very early pittodrie programme acquired
Monday, 31 December 2012 - 13:24
trf cartoonist does his bit for afc heritage
special artwork to entertain the red army.
Saturday, 10 November 2012 - 13:31
the aberdeen men can't play football
the story of victorian football in aberdeen.
Sunday, 04 November 2012 - 15:22
trust store opens
heritage and related publications avaialable online.
Saturday, 29 September 2012 - 11:08
cycling away for afc heritage trust
dons' fan puts in the effort.
Saturday, 21 April 2012 - 13:38
new magazine available
share with the former players
Friday, 02 March 2012 - 10:52
mind my bike
top defender enjoys narrow escape.
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 - 12:40
an historic encounter
rare meeting at forfar
Sunday, 25 December 2011 - 12:50
a merry christmas to all our followers
season's greetings
Sunday, 18 December 2011 - 16:54
eddie turnbull memorial unveiled
eddie's boys gather at pittodrie
Saturday, 12 November 2011 - 11:56
11th day at pittodrie
the afc armistice day event continues to grow.
Poppy
Friday, 04 November 2011 - 22:55
armistice day event at pittodrie
an additional player will be added to the roll of honour.
Saturday, 13 August 2011 - 11:24
new season - new programmes
afc heritage continues to issue programmes for the under-19s home matches.
Sunday, 17 July 2011 - 19:10
the first aberdeenshire cup final
how the cup was won.
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 - 12:09
edinburgh footballers stoned.
disturbance at aberdeen
Sunday, 06 March 2011 - 15:39
afc heritage gets some help
the visit of hearts attracted some great support for the afc heritage trust.
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 - 13:14
book on arbroath for aberdonians
new arbroath fc littered with information for aberdonians and dons' historians.
Cover of Arbroath FC Miscellany
Thursday, 23 December 2010 - 13:36
a merry christmas to all our readers
festive greetings to the dons' diaspora
Well used AFC party hat.
Friday, 12 November 2010 - 17:56
armistice day 2010 at pittodrie stadium
new names added to the aberdeen fc war memorial
Monday, 25 October 2010 - 14:44
shearer wonderland
duncan shearer autobiography available now
Duncan Shearer Autobiography
Friday, 08 October 2010 - 14:31
pittodrie's silent assassin
new book on the late davy johnston now available
Davy Johnston Book Cover
Friday, 03 September 2010 - 16:46
afc heritage book store
buy a book and help preserve your afc heritage!
Sunday, 08 August 2010 - 13:20
the operation went well and the patient survived
a night with afc heritage
a fanzine story
The Northern Light

14 April 2017 17:34

For Aberdeen fans, the fanzine movement came to town when The Northern Light exploded on the scene in a supernova of bile and ribald humour at the expense of any and all opposition. The mission statement - if anybody had bothered with one, might have been "To Burst the Bubbles of Pomposity."

The first edition, complete with Flossie the Sheep on the front cover, standing in front of a silhouette of Pittodrie?s Old Beach End. The sheep wore a red and white scarf on an otherwise monochrome page and that scarf was hand coloured on every copy of that edition. Eventually something like a thousand copies finding their way into the hands of the cognoscenti amongst the Pittodrie faithful. It was December 1987 when the "rag" first went on sale - not outside Pittodrie, but on the terraces at an away match against Celtic. It had been in the planning and preparation for quite a while and since this was a bit before the sophistication of computer publishing technology, cut and paste had meant just that, with every photo, cartoon and article cut to the size and shape required with scissors, and pasted with a Pritt stick onto A4 pages?something like a gummy jigsaw puzzle.

From humble (well, not that humble) beginnings the fanzine boomed in popularity and it was usual for maybe 4500 copies to be sold before a home match, with the biggest problem being the logistics of getting the copies to the sellers. It was an era when fanzines were springing up everywhere and the interest amongst fans was huge. It was easy to come up with wild and wacky ideas for poking fun at the opposition, the press the football authorities and even people at the club itself. There was a mixture of bitter criticism and constructive suggestions scattered amongst the cartoons and pontification. By the punters, for the punters.
Unsurprisingly, a lot of creative fans came forward to contribute to the pages and some of them have since moved on to be well known in the commercial press, gutter or otherwise. Other groups also had a stab at setting up their own publications, but these tended to be one-off affairs that were not very good.

TNL ran for only 24 editions spread over about four years, before it was decided to end it whilst it was still at the top of its game. The movement didn?t end though, and not long after The Northern Light cease, a new publication got going in the form of The Paper Tiger - put together by some of the former TNL crew, just as funny, perhaps a bit more bitter, but a great read and containing some inspired artwork. The Tiger waved its tail for about twelve issues. Hot on the heels of TPG came another product of the TNL former players. This one was intended as a one-off edition to mark the official opening of the new Beach End (Richard Donald Stand) and was a give-away on the streets before the game. It is hard to believe now, but it was really hard to give people their free copies of The Red Final, many folk viewing it with suspicion, perhaps thinking that it was some political propaganda sheet.

Whatever the reasons, the creators had enjoyed the process of putting TRF together and an official Number 1 followed. The aim of the early editions was to allow the creators to have as much fun with football as possible and to create enjoyment and atmosphere around the Dons. As with The Northern Light before it, TRF quickly grew in circulation and cries of "RED FINAL!" could be hear loud and clear around the ground on matchdays.

Not long after TRF came another fanzine called "Ten Men Went to Mow" which ploughed its own furrow and had a different look and feel to all of the other main Dons' fanzines. Unlike The Red Final, which can still be found on sale at games outside Pittodrie albeit with smaller sales than in the past thanks to the intervention of the internet, TMWTM didn't last very long, although its editor went on to produce football material on the world wide web.

The Red Final has changed editors and character over the years, but it has survived where other fanzines vanished so it has to claim credit in the culture of Dons' supporters. Let's hope, though that there are budding new creators waiting in the wings to bring their thoughts and humour to the printed page and maintain the admirable thirty-year tradition of Aberdeen fans producing the best and funniest material you can find on the streets.

The master copies of all the editions of The Northern Light are a part of The Aberdeen Collection having been donated recently by former contributor and co-founder, the Old Beach Ender.

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The AFC Heritage Trust is interested in all kinds of social history stories relating to the Dons and the fans and would like to hear from fellow Dandies who have a story to tell. Please email feedback@afcheritage.org

We would also like to hear from contributors to the Aberdeen Fanzines with their own tales of their part in the movement and what experiences they had.