Thank you…

That’s it now for match day sales of WIE 58. And we’d like to thank each and every one of you who bought a copy. Sales were good and the feedback we received from some of you was much appreciated. Keep it coming – good and bad – as we’re always looking for ways to improve the fanzine.

We still have a handful of copies left, so you can get your hands on one if you’ve missed out so far. If you bump into us at any of the remaining home games this season we might have a couple of copies on us. But the best way will be to email us at wie_fanzine@yahoo.co.uk for our postal rates. Or you can still download it from the MatchDay Digital app.

That’s it for now. Thanks again and WIE will be back next season, so we’ll see you then. And if you want to contribute keep an eye on our social media feeds for the copy deadline.

WIE 58 update

Thank you to everyone of you who bought a copy of the new issue either before the Chippenham or Dulwich Hamlet game. And we really appreciate the positive feedback we’ve received so far.

We will be out one more time with this issue before the home game against Hemel Hempstead Town on 26th February. If you won’t be at PVR that day and still want to get a copy there are two options available to you. You can either email us at wie_fanzine@yahoo.co.uk for our postal rates or you can download the digital version via the MatchDay digital app.

WIE 58 is out today

Just for once – and thanks mainly to regular contributors Tim and GaryH – we’ve managed to meet our deadline to get a new issue out. If you’re going to PVR today to watch the Wings face Chippenham, then don’t forget to pick up your copy of WIE 58. As usual our seller(s) will be outside the ground and circulating in the bars before the game. It’s an issue that packed with plenty of Wings-related guff and nonsense, including:

  • Nigel tells us about his involvement with Radio Wings.
  • Tim’s run through the developments he’s witnessed at PVR over the years.
  • There’s a photo essay on the current state of our beloved home ground.
  • Mark’s back with his usual Danson Ramble column.
  • We look at the season so far in numbers… spoiler alert… it isn’t pretty.
  • Tim charts our successful and, erm, not so successful seasons.
  • There are some more Hall of Shame nominations.
  • GaryH run us through some interesting and disturbing examples of football curses.

And loads more.

WIE 58 is your for just £1. Yes, you read that right, just one of your English pounds. Bargain!

Hall of Shame

In WIE 57 we opened up nominations for the Hall of Shame. We know that the concept is very much a fanzine staple, but, frankly, we don’t care. And it seems kinda apt given the current predicament the club finds itself in, both on and off the pitch.

The categories are:

  • Opposition player
  • Opposition manager
  • Welling manager
  • Welling player
  • Officials

Regular contributor Tim was first up with his nominations. He went with:

  • Opposition player – Andy Leach
  • Opposition manager – Tommy Warrilow
  • Welling manager – Tony Sitford
  • Welling player – KSA
  • Officials – John Homewood and P Don

That’s strong list, but can almost certainly be beaten. So, let us have your nominations (plus a little bit of supporting text for each please) by 30th January for inclusion in our next issue. And don’t feel you have to provide nominations for each category, or indeed stick to just one nominee per category. Email them to us at wie_fanzine@yahoo.co.uk as usual.

WIE 58 coming soon…

Maybe it’s the impending festivities, maybe it’s the prospect of another COVID-induced lockdown, maybe it’s because we’re bored. Whatever the reason, we’ve decided to start planning for the next issue. Having looked at the fixture list we’re looking to have WIE 58 available in February, so the copy deadline is 30th January.

It’s a date…

As we have stated previously on many occasions, we would really love more of you to get involved and contribute something. “Yes, but what are you looking for?” we hear you ask. In truth it can be anything ranging from a full article detailing something Wings (or football) related that you’d like to share, a shorter piece or letter about something on your mind, or perhaps an entry for the Wingsaurus or a graphic that should be included in our CAMRAG gallery. Perhaps you found something Wings-related while in the loft getting down the Christmas decorations that brought back a distinctive memory that we’d all love you to share…

And please don’t hesitate to get in touch here if you want to discuss your idea first.

Special offer on fanzines on Saturday

Regular readers of our fanzine will be aware that we produced two issues – WIE 55 and WIE 56 – during lockdown. Both were online editions, which we made available for free.

These issues are no longer available online. But thanks to our wonderful printer we have a handful of both now available in our usual hard copy format.

And if you’re attending the game against Eastbourne Borough at PVR you might want to take up our special offer. You can get your hands on the new issue – WIE 57 – and both lockdown editions for just £2*. Yup, you read that right, just £2. See our sellers either outside the ground or in the bars before the game.

If you can’t get to PVR on Saturday and want to take us up on this offer then please email us at wie_fanzine@yahoo.co.uk for our postal rates.

* while stocks last.

Postal sales of the ‘Covid specials’

As many of you know, during the height(s) of the pandemic we published two online editions of the WIE. Issue 55 was made available in November 2020 and issue 56 in February 2021. Thanks to our printer we have been able to have a limited number of both issues printed, which we can now make available to purchase. Both are priced at £1. Please email us at wie_fanzine@yahoo.co.uk for full details, including postage options.

From the archives – WIE 46

It’s been a while, so we thought we’d bring you this article from WIE 46. Published in September 2015 you’ll see that some things have changed and not all for the better…

Defending our Corner

New job, new town, new people. Same old questions.

As the conversation inevitably arrives at football, the “No, not Welwyn Garden City” gets dragged out once again. Why has everyone heard of that particular town? OK, it IS the site of the world’s first boutique hotel chain for cats, which deserves respect (thank you, Wikipedia), but other than that, what? It’s not even the first garden city. That magnificent accolade goes to Letchworth, and who has heard of that? Microsoft thinks it is a spelling mistake. And so do I. And, quite frankly, who cares about garden cities? Ebbsfleet Garden City, anyone? If my garden was anything like that I’d take napalm to it.

Only once have I managed a satisfactory response to the “What, Welwyn Garden City?” question. Having delivered the standard weary response to some posh bloke, I asked for his home town in return, receiving the reply “Hampstead” allowing me my “What, Hemel Hampstead?” reply.

Then there is the “But who do you REALLY support?” question. There was a time when I would ignore my Welling fixation and say “Leeds United” in reply to that, and in all fairness I was already 12 by the time Welling moved into PVR, so I hadn’t actually heard of them until then, and Leeds WERE my team. But there came a time when closets had to be left. It’s hard to convince yourself that you are only mildly interested in the fortunes of Welling when you find yourself in Merthyr Tydfil. For the fifth time. When plans are being made for that trip to Barrow. The final couple of straws which convinced me that my relationship with Leeds was no longer sustainable involved being stuck next to a very fat and perpetually angry Yorkshireman in the away end at Spurs, and realising that I could never care that much about Leeds losing 4-0; and my last trip to Elland Road, where I sat in the upper tier of their enormous stand which gives a fine view of the tops of the other three stands, so that you don’t actually feel you are in the ground, and that some private function is going on far below you to which you haven’t been invited. I spent my time distracted by the view from my seat, over the adjacent stands, of the utter desolation of that area of Leeds, while having the wax blasted out of my ears by one of those PA operators who believe we are there to listen to them and their favourite music.

So, although there are one or two fanzine editors and writers who still say “Chelsea” when asked, “Welling, no, not Welwyn Garden City” is now my answer.  And with my new town being in Shropshire I’ve now had to add “No, not Wellington” to my repertoire. 

This leads to stage two of the football conversation, mockery.

It’s hard to convince people that division 5 is actually a high level. That it isn’t played in parks. That not everyone brings their dog along. That you are not totally mad. Although sometimes it is hard to argue that last point: paying £15 to watch Welling is hardly a sign of sanity.

Often it’s easier to just admit defeat, and confess to madness, but sometimes when I hear the usual tedious rubbish about how oh so wonderful the premier league is, and that I should watch “proper” football, I feel obliged to defend my corner.

It is sometimes easy to forget that we are supporters of a pretty unique club. There is a lot of stuff by noisier non-league and former non-league teams, such as FC United, AFC Wimbledon and the like about “starting at the bottom of the pyramid”. Really? The bottom, you say? Well obviously they must know, but there is this other club that was started by a couple of brothers and their dad as a boys’ team playing in a park in 1963, and took precisely 23 years to reach division 5, one step from the professional divisions. Now, some people might not think that that is impressive. But perhaps they should. Perhaps they should know that one of the brothers is still running the club, along with the other brother’s son. That the whole thing is not a huge ego trip, or someone’s expensive toy. That the people who run it run it modestly, not for their own glorification.  Too modestly, probably.  Too modest to actually sell the club to the local area at times, but perhaps that is changing.  I suppose I could compare Welling’s performance with that of the richest club in England, from the fine town of Trafford. Welling clambered up the divisions from boys’ football on a Sunday to division 5 of Saturday football from 1963 to 1986, while Trafford’s finest threw oodles of cash at attempting to win the league from 1968 and failing to do so for 26 years. So, 23 years of success mostly overlapping with 26 years of failure, but it is us that get mocked. Such is life.

Despite the years we have spent in the Conference (more than any other Kent team), and thus years spent having our results read out on the telly and radio, we are still spectacularly anonymous, even in South East London. A friend from Forest Hill had never heard of Welling (neither the team nor the place) despite having a sister who travelled through it on her way to Dartford Grammar School, although to be honest I’d only heard of Forest Hill as it used to be written on the front of the 122 bus. So if South East Londoners haven’t even heard of the place, it would be unfair to blame Wrexham fans for admitting to having to look us up on the internet. And the “No, not Wellingborough either” replies that I have to give are the inevitable result of coming from somewhere of such utter inconsequence (Wellingborough being famous for Frederic Henry Gravely, of course, who was very, very interested in spiders – Wikipedia again). If Kate Bush can’t put Welling on the map, no one can.

And pity poor Tranmere. Their year of living dangerously last time out has ended with a fun filled year in the Conference added to the diary. No doubt their poor travelling fans have been on the internet trying to find out where the hell we are (The Garden of England, ho ho ho!), and the Conference fixture pencil has punished them possibly more than is entirely necessary by sending them down here for an early kick-off and probable 5am leaving time, for their first taste of a properly crap non-league ground and non-league atmosphere. After they get back home after their monumentally crap day out they can say “I’ve just got back from Welling”, and can listen to the inevitable cries of “Where? Welwyn Garden City?”

They should pity us. Some of us have had a lifetime listening to that.

Tim