On Friday something quite remarkable happened. A thing we didn't even dare to dream about. TSLR was nominated for fanzine of the year in the Football Supporter's Federation's annual awards. It's taken us until today to blog about it - partly because the news came out amidst a couple of rave-ups at the Amex and partly because we've been drinking too much champagne - OK, it's only Cava - we haven't actually won the award!
But to be nominated is an absolute honour - you can read about quite what an achievement it is being shortlisted amongst such long-standing and/or glossy fanzines over on current contributor The Hovian's awesome blog (where we stole the above image from without permission). This first of what will probably be a few blog posts, however, is not really about us. It's been penned to pay honour to all those that have contributed in some way to The Seagull Love Review's success in being nominated. We're trying to mention everyone who has been involved during the four years we've been pooling together Albion related-ish drivel, packaging it up into 32 black and white pages and swapping it to the good folk of Withers and Falmer for a solitary golden coin we all know as a £1 coin.
We've tried to include Twitter details where available so you get a chance to see their witticisms direct. Without these TSLRite contributing heroes who started in our first season - 2008-09 - we wouldn't be close to winning a trophy. And the nominations are...
Carter is the only contributor who has featured in the same spot in every single edition of TSLR. A school friend of the co-editors, @carterbrighton made his name in the world of journalism by getting the sixth form newspaper shut down for an altogether good humoured interview with the dinnerlady headlined 'Can-teenage Dirtbag' in reference to the popular Wheatus hit at the time. His inside back cover jottings are where you will often find the funniest one-liners. And the bloke is also an Seagulls related-ish sexual innendo genius who has an ability to name his children after the Albion.
Jerry the Sport has also been with us from the beginning when he gave us a gardening column. He has since pulled off (hoy hoy) some corking in-depth interviews - the first with former Albion player Paddy McIllvenney (TSLR002) and the latest coming from the Stuart-Storer-screaming-last-match-at-the-Goldstone commentator Jim Proudfoot (TSLR038). @jerrymandarin has also served as our advertising manager (hang on, we think he still is); has mutated into the WSL Snapper to provide TSLR many photess this season (like the one above) and flogs the fanzine for us for little reward outside the East on matchdays.
Our resident artist - Miles Lauterwasser - has been with us in almost every every issue since our 2008 inception. That year he graced the back cover and for the first two seasons provided readers with a proper-Brighton like artistic impression of a former Albion player - some legendary, some like Dirk Lehman. In season three we were concerned he may be poached by another fanzine so we panicked and promoted him to the front page, releasing his art from the confines of player portraits. Following the controversial 'ladder' front cover, Lauter's somewhat abstract illustrations were relegated to the back cover last season. He also provided photees for our Withers supplement (TSLR030) at the end of the Theatre of Trees era.
Midfield Diamond joined the TSLRites for our second ever issue with an amusing analysis of the ineptitude of referees - a topic as current then as it is now and has always been. He hasn't missed an issue since and, knowing him, has probably not missed an Albion match in that time dragging his poor family around the country despite living in the west country. MD is almost always the first to submit (that's a hint to everyone else) and consistently churns out some quality jottings. His round-up of Boxing Day matches in TSLR's first Christmas issue was one of many first season highlights. As was his column that pointed out that Micky Adams II was actaully Adams Micky - an imposter who fooled us all.
@HHLedger would barely be used again too, but he's become a consistent - if erratic - contributor since. We once bumped into him in the Tate Modern - he's the contributor who adds a level of intellect not usually seen at the Albion.
Mendoza's What's Hot What's Not debuted an issue later and has been an ever present ever since. @brettmendoza is the only contributor more famous than the fanzine, despite his main job of bothering Gully's Girls. He has made the s/hit list format his own and is always worth a read for a giggle. Not only that but Mendoza must be the highest earning contributor when it has come to charity donations this season.
Tomy Super Cup made a fleeting appearance in TSLR at the end of that first season. His article on Xerez in TSLR009 represents a quite scary premonition of this summer's planned pre-season tour (although it's not planned yet, that's the problem for booking flights at the moment). @tomysupercup went on to produce the Withdreams feature in our last season there, helped produce the Withdean-a-like Top Trumps feature that ran through season two and has now produced more merchandise (including flags) for the North Stand Kollective than we've managed in four years. TSC still provides the odd match report.
Like everyone else in being signed up on a free transfer with no wages, Dizzy Imposter ran the TSLR Supporter's Club in the early days and penned a few articles (TSLR002-TSLR007) about the stresses of such a high profile job. In her other guises, @zamorasdream has done a sterling job in selling the fanzine and continues to do so outside Falmer. Like Carter's ability to use the Albion in the naming of offspring, one of her children has 'Zamora' as a middle name.
TSLR with Marco Tardelli (or should it be the 1982 World Cup legend with TSLR?)
Treason Show advert. One of @markbrailsford's finest articles for us (TSLR005) was a piss-taking song 'penned' by Ian Hart in the aftermath of windowlicker-gate. His opening gambit written in the futuristic world of a 2024 in which Albion had been European Cup winners for ten years running (TSLR001) still seems ludicrous, even if we're now a little closer to the Champions League than when he came up with the idea.
Brailsford was joined at various moments in our first season by both authors of poular Albion books Build a Bonfire and, subsequently, We Want Falmer, Paul Hodson and Steve North. The latter must be the only interviewee we've had who actually has an entry on IMDB dating back to his glory London's Burning days. Hodson wrote way back in issue one about Albion songs but he also hoped that the success of their first book - in being a platform for Albionites to congregate their thoughts - would be replicated in our fanzine. We hope we - and mainly these people - have done that. Their inclusion of the co-editors' ramblings in Build a Bonfire II was an absolute honour.
Talking of mysterious, in that first Christmas special, TSLR were sent a copy of Alfred Missenden's diary from an ill-fated away trip to Reading's Elm Park 100 years before in 1908. However, the second part of his diary - though promised from an anoynomous source - never made it to us. Thanks to the Missenden contributor, whoever they may be?
Charlie Whatley was our official photographer for the aforementioned trip to Hamburg and provided some excellent black and white professional shots for DMLK006. He has since gone on to bigger and better things - ie, photography gigs that pay him in more than just stubby German beers and trips to late night transexual bars.
There was a slightly unusual music column that began in the back end of the first season penned by Mole Porter. It was based on cassette tapes - a suitably outmoded format which we thought would be perfectly associated with an outdated medium such as a fanzine. @si_mole is a proper performance poet these days and has little time for our crazy cassette ideas but he produced some quality - if somewhat strained - connections between the tapes he was reviewing and the Albion starting back in 2009.
Nick Adams must get a mention for his Sychronised Soccer plans at the London 2012 Games (TSLR002); Easy 10 churned out an excellent memory trip down Goldstone Lane against Leeds (TSLR003); and NSCer who wrote for us about the trials and tribulations of spending the day in his pants whilst logged in to an online Albion forum (TSLR003-005).
Gosh, that was a long list and only season one! Thanks to all the Global Seagulls, interviewees and everyone we took the piss out of in 2008-09 (mainly Colin Hawkins and Mick Adams II). We'll bring you up to date with our more recently joined contributors in the coming week or so...
All the issues mentioned are still in our vault somewhere if you want to purchase back issues. Email as at email@example.com for details.