It’s Thursday, we’re still in lockdown, so that means it’s time for another delve into the WIE archive. And next up is Issue 10 from the start of the 1994/95 season. This was a 28-page affair that was put together by just three contributors; Terry Tim and yours truly. Oh, and a couple of letter writers. A fixture card was provided as a free gift; what were we thinking?!
The beginning of a new football season is usually a time for general optimism, but that wasn’t the case at PVR. This was reflected by the front cover, which was our comment on the close season that had seen the departure of some key members of the playing squad. And my editorial did nothing to lighten the mood along that theme.
Next up was Tim’s account of the away days from the previous season, which started with a 2-0 win at Woking (which put us temporarily, of course, top of the league) and finished with a pathetic 3-0 defeat at Uxbridge in the final of the London Challenge Cup.
‘In which direction are we headed?’ was the title of a rather serious article (by WIE standards). It was written in response to a particularly bad midweek performance in April at Altrincham where it was judged that the players were very much going through the motions. The article also commented on a column written by club secretary Barrie Hobbins in the programme shortly before that trip to Alty in which he touched on the wage demands of certain unnamed players. If nothing else this article was another example of the general downcast, unhealthy mood at PVR.
Tim’s review of the Conference 1993/94 season did its best to lighten the mood as did his piece entitled ‘The World Cup 94; WIE Style’ which was the centre spread. We will bring that to you tomorrow. His next article was, for him, a bit serious as it reflected on the Football League’s decision to impose some ground requirements, which ultimately resulted in champions Kidderminster not being promoted and thus saving Northampton from relegation to the rightful place in non-league.
The summer rumour diary covered the period mid-May to early July. In that time Gary Abbott and Neil Clemmence left the club with keeper Darren Williams also placed on the transfer list at his own request. Mark Hone was expected to sign for Southend and there were question marks over the futures of Paul Copley and Tony Reynolds. All this was compounded by there being no new players joining the club up until that point. Again, an attempt was made to lighten the mood with an ‘amusing’ questionnaire aimed at discovering whether a football club ruled your life.
An account of Woking’s FA Trophy triumph over Runcorn at Wembley was an opportunity for a few sly digs at the Tarquin Army. This was followed by a space-filler (nothing changes!) which gave a few translations for pen pictures found in match programmes, e.g. “a loyal servant to the club” actually meant that nobody else was stupid enough to sign them.
The issue finished with Terry offering up a suggestion or two to the club; one was opening up the other set of turnstiles for bigger games and another about targeting the local schools to get more supporters through the gates. Both could be argued today.
The back page was a bit of a homage to Andy Townsend’s flowing locks while a Welling player. There’s no further comment from me as I’ll only be accused of jealousy…