Hello and welcome to War of the Monster Trucks part three. Part one was a paper fanzine edition 1 to 15 and produced by Matt Cooper and pals. Matt must get the credit for the name of the fanzine and the humorous style that always made us chuckle over a pre or post match pint. You can find a Wikipedia link about Matt’s version of the fanzine here. Though we think the person that wrote the entry was a bit harsh in saying our version lost some fizz – but perhaps they meant it was more real ale than Carling in which case we’d agree!
Part two was also a paper fanzine - editions 16 to 40 of War of the Monster Trucks. This was produced by Paul Taylor, Nick Riley, Andy Selman and Steve Walmsley. The fanzine name was handed over by Matt at a meeting in the taproom of the New Barrack Tavern on Penistone Road, a favourite matchday pub and unofficial HQ for wotmt.
This website is part three, produced by the makers of part two and indeed having an archive section for the original paper issues 16 to 40. We’ve started to populate the season by season archives and will keep adding more – so keep checking for new additions.
For many years Paul Taylor and then Steve Walmsley did the ‘Fanscene’ column in the Wednesday pages of the Green ‘Un. You will find the more recent of these articles on this website.
We’ll also add new articles when we can and as ever welcome contributions. We will not publish articles that we find offensive. If you don’t like something one of us or one of our writers has said then we’ll give you the right of reply.
Our motivation for doing the fanzine was and is ‘a celebration of the highs and lows of being a Wednesday fan’. For us that means reminiscing with a bunch of mates about away trips to Wembley, pies and beer, heroes of Hillsborough and the shenanigans inside the boardroom over the past 15 years. At its best wotmt is like sitting with a big bunch of mates on the fifth round post match pint having won 3-0 and talking yet again about Hirsty being better than Shearer.
We are all Sheffielders (Paul having joined us in his late teens with his English books under his arm), and all had season tickets for most of our adult lives. Nick now lives in Spain, but through the wonders of new technology is able to contribute articles.
And of course we must mention the Editor of editions 16 to 40. Step forward Sir Stanley Headfire, a black Labrador of considerable personality. He appeared on Sky TV, Radio 5 and Radio Sheffield singing along to the Aida played on Andy’s mouth organ. Sir Stanley had his own editorial column ‘It’s a dog’s life’ where he would give us his rovering reporters take on events in Sheffield 6 and the wider football world. He was one of the gang and spent many a night in the New Barrack Tavern drinking half a bitter from an ashtray and eating sausages smuggled out of the kitchen. Sir Stanley is sadly no more (it is 13 years since we started the paper editions), but he has a nephew, Barnsley, who will be making the odd contribution to this website.
So, hope you like the website and if you are one of those people we come across that say they liked our paper fanzine, enjoy having a rummage in the archives. You’ll not find too much here about who should play at left back and whether 4,4,2 is better than 4,5,1 – the pub is the best place to do this and failing that there are lots of good websites and the fabulous Radio Sheffield footy team who are better at doing this than us. What you will find is a humorous, sometimes a bit cutting, passionate and left field take on what it is to be a football fan in general and a Wednesday fan in particular.
When we dug out issues 16 to 40 to start archiving for this website it was quite alarming how much time has gone by, but how in many ways so little has changed. David Pleat was manager when we produced issue 16 (with bags of cash to spend!), he was quickly replaced by Big Ron in his second coming, Danny Wilson......you know the rest. From the off there were people writing articles questioning the Board and the leadership of the club. By issues 24 and 25 the editorials were talking about the search for a consortia to take over the club – this was ten years ago!
Now of course the world has turned on its head. After 12 years of scraping by and coming within a gnats of going into administration we now have a new millionaire owner with money to bring in new players in January. Buying players? What’s all that about then?
If you want to know a bit more about the background to the paper editions 16 to 40 – what we have called here part two of wotmt - you can follow this link to The Guardian’s sports pages when they did a feature on us. Remember this was from ten years ago – how times change, or do they?
And so there we have it. If you have read the above links you will probably feel a bit nostalgic. And why not indeed. Sheffield has always been a bit of an underdog to Leeds financially and Manchester culturally, but we have our own sense of identity and one we are really proud of. Let's hope that we've found a kindred spirit with a Serb Millionaire. Hang on to your haemorrhoids and lets rock and roll........and if it all feels like it is failing, there is always the massed collective shout "GET HIRSTYON". Never failed in the past!
On a day when United were promoted before Wednesday had even kicked a ball (confirmed by a furious – and unrepeatable - shout through an open window as I walked past La Plata), someone on the outside looking in might...