Boro Mag
By Robert Nichols
Friday 22 May 2020 13:46:00
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This week the very first edition of Boro Mag was published. Excellent articles covered aspects of Boro, subjects ranging from nostalgia to very recent. Something for everyone and all explored in depth, engaging clarity. The publication is a fund raiser for Teesside Hospice. This being lockdown the magazine was distributed completely online. The Boro public lapped it up. I needed to chat with editor Rob Fletcher to find out more about Boro.Mag.

How did you come up with the idea?

The idea was not something that I thought about before this lockdown period and as a reader of football magazines with longer articles I thought it would be good if Boro had one too. Initially, I thought about just writing a load of articles myself as I had done on a blog I previously had 'The Way We Play'. When I realised that was far too hopeful I got in touch with some writers and thought it would be good to get people together on a project and do some fundraising while we were at it.

The fundraising element was a very important part of it and Teesside Hospice is so important to the area that all the contributors agreed that it would be a great cause to support.

Boro Mag

Do you have a designer working on this?

In terms of design, my sister designed magazines in a previous job, so I contacted her to see if she would like to be involved. She said yes so I knew that we would have something that could look a bit different. I used a number of the magazines I enjoy such as These Football Times and Mundial for a bit of inspiration for her and she ran with it. We have also been very lucky that people have allowed us to use their images free of charge or at a reduced rate for the magazine.

Is the idea to have a rounded picture of Boro?

Yes, we really want to cover all periods of the club's history and having Dr Tosh Warwick involved really does help us with that. His knowledge and work really compliments the other articles in there about more modern times. We hope that we can continue in this way as we develop.

What were the influences?

As I had mentioned previously, a magazine like These Football Times is a real inspiration. For anyone that hasn't read the magazine it's £10 and on the more prestigious side of magazines. It follows a football club, era, nation or competition for one whole issue with long form articles throughout. It has certainly shaped the thinking behind the magazine. Longer writing is starting to appear more and more in places like The Athletic and I felt Boro deserved that too because there are some amazing stories to tell; even the ones that didn't make the headlines.

This must have taken a long time to put together - has it been a lengthy process?

From start to finish, the magazine has probably taken around 8 weeks to put together and get to a point of release. This has involved working with all of the different writers, who have rewritten and edited their pieces as well as licensing photographs. The design process has taken the longest as we've designed as we've written, so that should take a little less time next time around. We have a much better idea now of how we want for the feel of the magazine.

In the lockdown this is going to reach out to people

That was the hope right at the start, to make something happen that would bring together fans and also raise funds for charity. I think Middlesbrough Football Club have been fantastic in terms of fan engagement throughout this period. They've had the kit competition, season reviews, the Icons interview series and goal compilations. We just hope to be able to contribute a small part of that as a group of fans who want to write about the club they love. Hopefully, the people who read the magazine will feel the passion we have and enjoy reading and hopefully come back for more in the future.

You can buy Boro Mag volume 1 for just £3 HERE




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