Over the next few days, expect to read a multitude of odes written by bloggers from the UK regarding the demise of Shoot Magazine, the popular British football publication which owner IPC announced it would be shutting it down at the end of this month.Shoot! was a hugely popular weekly football magazine aimed at children.
Launched in 1969, the magazine featured plenty of pull-out posters and was a huge hit in the 1970’s and 1980’s.Without a doubt, it’s lasting contribution to football wasn’t the magazine itself but was the infamous league ladders that were shrinkwrapped inside the summer editions in preparation for each new season of English football. The league ladders were a masterful marketing idea by Shoot. You had to purchase all of the summer issues to ensure you’d receive the blank league ladders table as well as all of the team names that had to be perforated and inserted into the tables.The concept was that you would use the league ladders throughout the season and update it as each week’s matches concluded. For all of the years I collected the league ladders, I never once made it past October. Even for a little teenager like myself at the time, it was too tedious. But every summer, I still looked forward in anticipation of getting the new league ladders.
In the late 1970’s after I was first introduced to Shoot Magazine, I always looked forward to the weekday morning when the latest issue would arrive at my local newsagent. I would scour every page, rip out the posters of my favorite teams and would tape them to my bedroom wall, much to the chagrin of my mother.
However in the early 80s, I changed my allegiances from Shoot to a new magazine that was published in the UK named Match Weekly. Match featured detailed statistics in a pull-out section which was something completely new at the time. The publication took what Shoot did well but improved upon it. The irony is that Match is still around and doing well in the UK, while Shoot has now met its demise.