Fmttm Boro Look Back Buzz
By Robert Nichols
Sunday 29 Mar 2020 18:35:00
Browse all Over 30 years of Fly Me articles

The first of a series of Boro look back Buzz articles about different fanzines, plucked from random ie whatever I have knocking around my front room and garage. We start looking back through the Boro red mists of time to Ayresome's final decade and the opening of a new season and new era under penultimate manager Lennie Lawrence who had just been appointed. It was a shock appointment that caught out the Gazette and the town of Middlesbrough described by unsuccessful candidate, Terry Cooper, as like “a big village.” Bernie Slaven was in shock also and dominated many of the cartoons. Wilko was the new gunslinger in town, long hair and moustache, heralding in a new era. But we would soon have him down to the barbers. Would we settle our differences with Bernie or would he shoot his bolt?

Summer of Inactivity - Issue 57 v Millwall back in the old Division 2 sat August 17th 1991.

Before my time at the fanzine – in the days when Gillandi was at the helm with the Downing brothers, Endy and Miniature G editors, writers, cartoonists and pulling it all together. Just about. As in those days it was printed through the night, Friday night and assembled Friday night/Saturday morning for the team of sellers who took their positions in the streets surrounding Ayresome Park.

Roofus was on the back cover, greasing up to new boss, Lennie Lawrence with Bernie Slaven in “attendance,” looking well out in the cold.

No one could think of a suitable cover because it was summer and the Downing brothers, like everyone else, still had their heads on holiday, so they found a “perfick” solution with the then popular Darling Buds of May and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Inside, and straight into a new cartoon strip, Ironside of the Boro. Ian Ironside, new keeper signed from Scarborough and of course Endy's cartoon depicts him as a wheelchair (detective) keeper. One for the teenagers of the 1970s there and fans of Raymond Burr.


There was one of the great Fly Me To The Moon article titles, Forfar So Far Four. Here Toddy Gone Tomorrow isn't bad either, although Colin might not agree after his stay at Boro was terminated. In the centre pages Summer Diary – there was a bucket of water dousing down from Chief Exec Keith Lamb at the hands of Social Club manager David Nivan, who as a result we were told almost got Player of the Season award. The Chief Exec remained tight-lipped allowing fmttm to make an awful joke about it being the Silence of the Lamb. A new film in 1991, featuring The Fall Hip Priest drum beat, that was terrifying the nation.

centre pages

Along with Ian Baird, The Bairdy Has Flown proclaimed an article reflecting on the transfer of our goal hero from the relegation saving last game victory over Newcastle from two season's previous. A cartoon compared future Boro player, Gazza, to the Vanity Fair cover pic of a pregnant Demi Moore, perhaps not the most flattering. Fans thought far more of Stuart Ripley's pre season form, the flying winger was compared to the Son of God.

A To Z of Boro Stars feature James Dean. He lived and died by his motto: “Run Fast Cross Early.”

Lots of match action here from the season opener and debut match under the management of Lennie Lawrence.


Lennie Lawrence's first game and welcoming back a Boro legend Bruce Rioch who earned a standing ovation. The London Lions team also including a Brucey Babe in Paul Kerr.

Lennie's side include many of the Rioch heroes such as Stuart Ripley, Stephen Pears, Gary Parkinson, skipper Tony Mowbray and Alan Kernaghan alongside him. Bernie Slaven left out and on the transfer list.

New signings Paul Wilkinson. Willie Falconer from Watford both featured and impressed. Midfielder Robbie Mustoe scored on his debut. Final score 1-0.

Issue 57

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