You may not want to hear it, but it’s the time of the year when stores are frantically getting ready for the holiday shopping season. The Christmas displays in shop windows seem to appear earlier and earlier each year.
Football is not immune to this, of course. The sport generates a tremendous amount of revenue for clubs and retailers worldwide from football shirts, equipment, books, DVDs and more.
But one big market that many foreigners may not realize or understand is the massive Football Annuals business in England.
Football Annuals are hardcover books that find their way under the Christmas tree of many British teens and grown adults. The annuals are heavy on quantity and light on quality. Usually there are a couple hundred pages filled with photographs and articles, and they’re the perfect books to flip through wherever and whenever you have time.
Growing up in the UK as a child, I remember getting Shoot Annual and Match Annual. They were the type of gifts that you knew what they were before you ripped open the Christmas wrapping paper because of their unique rectangle shape, thickness and weight.
While the Shoot Annual and Match Annual were filled with fluff interviews, sidebar features, team photos and somewhat interesting articles, there were other annuals available. In fact, the business of annuals was, and is, huge. There’s The Beano Annual, Dennis The Menace Annual, The Dandy Annual, Roy Of The Rovers Annual and more. Beano and Dandy are British institutions and have nothing to do with football, but are perfect comic books that sum up British humor.
The business of football annuals has changed very little. Many of the aforementioned titles are still available with new titles released each autumn. Football clubs even produce their own annuals now as well as News Of The World and BBC’s Match Of The Day.
If you like collecting football books or have children who are interested in the sport, a football annual could be a perfect gift this holiday season.
What are your memories of football annuals? Share your trips down memory lane by clicking the comments link below.