by • May 14, 2017 • tf blogsComments (18)2114

true faith has been going since 1999. We sold Issue 1 outside SJP for the Wimbledon game (3-3) and the second for a match when Paul Robinson was preferred to Alan Shearer. The first issue was designed by yours truly and it was 32-pages and 2-colour. Later Glenn Ashcroft would take over the design duties and provide some of the best fanzine lay-out in the country. Over the subsequent number of years we carved a niche for the fanzine amongst those who valued supporter expression. For years leading up to the final printed issue it was 64-pages and full colour. We were able to do that because of you going into shops and buying it. No other explanation. We survived and thrived because you wanted us to. We published 111 hard-copy issues and were frequently nominated as being one of the best fanzines in the UK. We came close but never got the top prize. How Newcastle United is that?

Over the years we added a website to join that internet thing and we then started offering the option of the fanzine via digital format which has been a massive success. In recent years we’ve added the Podcasts, The Special Newsletter and our audience has just went mental. We’ve also managed to develop a model where we’re able to offer everything completely free without pimping ourselves out to betting sites and the like.

Sadly, offering a hard-copy version of the fanzine just became unsustainable so we left that behind and although it was sad, truth is the printed media is dying. You lot have voted with your feet. Personally, I think it’s better now. We’ve followed the trends and what is available via technology.

I’ve loved editing true faith. It’s been hugely enjoyable. The fanzine has brought me into contact with people who are now my firm friends. There have been one or two arseholes along the way but they’ve been minor blots on the landscape. I’m indebted to those who have supported TF – readers, writers – the whole lot of everyone.  But now it’s time to bow out.

true faith needs a new strategy, energy and direction. I’ve always felt as though I’ve known where the next steps were for true faith and I’m conceited enough to believe we’ve made the right moves at the right times. But now? I think it’s time to pass the reigns over to someone new.

That is going to be Alex Hurst. Alex has written for a good few years for TF and he’s developed the Podcast to being one of the most prominent in the country. It’s certainly by a mile the most listened to on the Newcastle United scene. Alex loves Newcastle United so that’s a great start. For older readers, Alex and his mates are a bit old school – in that they travel all over the country going to see United play and they are the right people to produce an authentic football fanzine rather than the frauds who don’t bother home or away out to make a buck. I happen to know that not everyone supposedly producing supporter content is as genuine as Alex.

Alex has the energy, drive, resilience and intelligence to take true faith forward. I’m excited by some of the ideas he has and how he intends to develop true faith over the next few years. The best days of true faith are definitely ahead of it.

That’s not to say I’m dropping off completely. I’ll be doing my bit in other ways – mainly by dedicating more time to the thing I really enjoy doing which is writing about Newcastle United and football more generally. Of course that will be for Newcastle United’s number one fanzine.

Alex is keen to retain all of the brilliant writers who have gravitated towards true faith over many years and we’ll keep our team together as Alex plots a new course.

In a separate blog, doubtless Alex will set out some of his thoughts about the development of true faith and how things will roll out.

Once again, thank you to everyone who has supported true faith and me personally as editor. It’s been an honour to have been indulged by you all. I’m fond of repeating the line that true faith isn’t for everyone but there have been enough like-minded souls to make it count. My advice to Alex is to do what you think is best, don’t try and be an everyman publication. The people who tell you not to do this or that don’t know. Have confidence. It really isn’t about riding the latest trend or popular opinion.

I hope Alex gets as much support in directing true faith in the future as I have had overwhelmingly since 1999.

Thank you.

Keep On, Keepin’ On …



Related Posts

18 Responses to true faith – ALL THINGS MUST PASS

  1. Andy H says:

    Good Luck Alex, you have a hard act to follow. I’m sure you won’t be found wanting. Thank you Mick for providing an excellent editorial of all the good and the bad of Newcastle United in the last 17 years or so.
    Your views on football and politics are close to my own however I could not portray them as eloquently as you have through the journals of the fanzine of the website.

  2. David Hanlon says:

    What can I say apart from thank you so very much for what you have done over the years. All of it is much appreciated. I really enjoy your writing, it is always so heartfelt. And all the best to Alex for the future.

  3. Chris Nappin says:

    Michael your writing over the years has genuinely left me in awe at times. Subjective of course, but for me you’ve given the best analysis of the game and our club that anyone could have ever given us. The combination of your vocabulary, delivery of tone, your wit and of course the exceptionally thorough and detailed content has been a massive reason why True Faith has been such a huge success. You should obviously be very proud of that and having read/heard a lot of Alex’s pieces I’m relieved that you have someone who I’m sure will prove a worthy successor. Thank God you’re still going to be writing for True Faith, I’ve especially loved your TBAWE editorials, they’ve been laminate-worthy at times. Thank you Michael, you absolute legend

  4. What!!!??? But I’ve been sacking up to you for years and now I’ve got to start all over again!
    Can I just say how much I admire your work Alex….

  5. Respect and thanks for your contribution. Even though you should have boycotted Ashley and supported Corbyn! The rest-spot on.

  6. andrew mctiernan says:

    good luck

  7. Chris B says:

    I am one of the silly sids who has a box in my attic with (I think) some 94 or so paper copies of TF collected over the years, including a much treasured (by me) first edition. I’ve genuinely enjoyed reading every one and (begrudgingly) even came round to the digital only editions of latter times. Thank you for that enjoyment.

  8. David says:

    Sad news, but a great choice for the new man who will be cracking if the podcast is anything to go by.
    Good luck to all!

  9. Lord Westwood says:

    Best wishes both for the future. true faith continues to sit head and shoulders above any ‘competition’ and provides truly innovative content whether via podcast or written word. My own favourite piece is the regular Special emailed out on match days. I never tire of reading the various sections with What Would Rafa Do a highlight for the past year.

    Top of the league both on and off the pitch; well done guys.

  10. Greeny's Guitar says:

    I’ve disagreed with a lot of your views, footie and politics both, but always admired your work with TF.
    It was the only magazine I regularly bought and now it’s the only one I regularly read.
    Good luck.

  11. Clocktoys says:

    Thanks Michael for all your wonderful writing over the years and for founding True Faith. Always thought that was a shit title by the way, but I can’t deny it’s become a beacon for intelligent, amusing and honest reflections on our beloved football club. Glad to know you won’t be jacking it in completely as no one does the gallows humour quite like you.

    All the best

  12. Colin Mccabe says:

    A huge thank you Michael for providing the well written, insightful and passionate NUFC content I’ve been devouring these past ten years. TF along with head and shoulders above all else and TBAWE articles the stand out for me.

    Thanks again

  13. Castle Farm Mag says:

    MM – you are a true legend in the modern-day history of NUFC. Like many I do not agree with everything you write, but you have provided invaluable insights, a great deal of humour and some pathos at times for this crazy beautiful club of ours. TF must have eaten thousands of hours of your time. and I appreciate that effort – if our players had put in that time, tried so hard, and loved our club as much, we would have won a dozen pots since 1999. Maybe next year, as ever. I suppose you will now have more time to visit Superpie on Coatsworth Road. We will Keep On, Keepin’ On … and glad to know you will too. Anton: Sandyford Mag / Saltwell Mag / Jesmond Vale Mag / Castle Farm Mag (over the years as I’ve moved about).

  14. richard hands says:

    A big big thanks Michael. The posts above say it all in particular Chris Nappin get him signed up!

  15. Peachy says:

    Some great analysis of the club, fans views and feelings through thick and thin over the years which I’m sure has been well received by readers of TF.
    Well done lads and let’s hoping to a bright future for NUFC and TF in the years to come.
    Good luck to Alex and the TF team

  16. Richard F says:

    Michael, I rejoice when I recall the day you asked me to join in the TF party.

  17. gjbnufc says:

    Always admired and related to your descriptive analysis of all things black and white. True Faith is synonomous with the club regardless of the format because of its emotions it portrays and that’s down to yourself. Absolutely love the podcast craic and all the best to Alex, who again is engaging and balanced. Cheers for all the efforts Michael, would love for the legacy of the weekly TBAWE to continue, which for me has always been the jewel in the TF crown. Must be a cracking read whatever pipped you to the gongs

  18. Stuart79 says:

    Thanks, Michael for all your efforts and the best of luck to Alex.