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.