Away From The Numbers


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Away From The Numbers, the cult East Fife football fanzine, first hit the streets in August 1989.

The first ever issue of AFTN - Or The Bayview Bulletin as it was called initially
We were the first attempt at an East Fife fanzine in what was fast developing as the football fanzine revolution and bandwagon.

For our first five issues though, we had a different name altogether - The Bayview Bulletin.

Never entirely with this as the name for the fanzine, feeling that the name and some of the content made us seem like an alternative programme, we made the radical decision in April 1990 to change the fanzine's name to Away From The Numbers - AFTN for short - and Issue 6 appeared that month under that guise.

So why the name and where did it come from?

Away From The Numbers is a song by The Jam. It's been a b side and an album track and isn't one of their best known numbers, but the lyrics and the chorus struck a chord with us.

Away from the numbers, Away from the numbers
Is where I'm gonna be
Away from the numbers, Away from the numbers
Is where I am free

At East Fife, you certainly are away from the numbers pulled in by the big teams. But we at AFTN like it that way.

With value for money always being one of our key ethos, we produced The Bayview Bulletin as a pull out section of the fanzine, featuring reports and stats, and this time aiming it to be an alternative programme.

This move proved popular and we were constantly classed as being one of the best value for money zines out there, with 40 to 60 pages of content being the norm, later on adding an additional occasional local music fanzine supplement called Ultracore.

The years went by, the abuse vented and an eclectic mix of East Fife and general football related articles, music articles and humour saw AFTN's reputation, circulation and infamy increase in equal numbers and readers around the world.

The first ever issue of AFTN under that name
Issues were on sale in sports and book shops throughout the UK, with many stockists regularly selling out, including the influential London based sports bookshop Sportspages.

A number of newspapers, magazines and TV shows jumped on the football fanzine bandwagon and this led to a number of great reviews by high profile people.

Our pinnacle could be described as being given 30/30 and the accolade of "the best fanzine we've seen so far" by the "Daily Sport" (we know our audience!)

One of our main regular cartoon features, the Insane In The Brain funnies, were described as "surreal comic brilliance" by another publication and we have resurrected and freshened this up for this electronic version.

AFTN reached the height of it's notoriety with our COWDEN FAMILY comic strip and appearance to around 14 million people on the BBC's "They Think It's All Over" in a Christmas special. An appearance that generated a lot of media interest in Scotland on what must have been a very slow news day!

This wasn't to be our only TV appearance though, with our particular highlight being the opportunity to produce two 'Fancams' for a pre Tim and Helen Soccer AM for Sky - highlighting East Fife fans travels to first Berwick and then Stranraer.

Our favourite ever cover - it featured newly release hostage John McCarthy and the quote 'Out before Murray - who'd have believed it'
Our early issues were obsessed with trying to oust the hated manager Gavin Murray, with our red card campaign proving to be a huge success - something we brought back in our last ever paper issue in an attempt to oust the then hated manager Rab Shannon.

Yes, we were obessessed by Murray - we admit it now.

Even that bastion of fairness, the Rangers fanzine 'Follow Follow', described us as having a pathalogical hatred of him!

We celebrated his resignation though by providing black and gold balloons with Gavin's face stuck to them and the slogan "The Ballon's Gone!" attached to them - one of our proudest moments!!

The unity of the fans at that time was superb and we were proud to be a part of that.

When the Derrick Brown situation arose at the Club in 2005/2006, the bond of supporters then was even better and we are as equally proud to have been able to provide the mouthpiece for the fans on this occasion as well.

Hopefully we will not need to be there for anything like that again.

Our favourite ever cover - it featured newly release hostage John McCarthy and the quote 'Out before Murray - who'd have believed it'
Although becoming more sporadic in the later years, the printed version of AFTN reached 38 issues, with the final issue (so far at least!), being produced in April 2001.

With times a changing, AFTN finally moved into the cyber age in December 2003 and became a webzine and the internet voice for East Fife fans worldwide.

We want this site to be the ultimate site for everything connected to do with East Fife Football Club.

Your one stop shop and the true voice of the long suffering Fife support.

Without your support we wouldn't be that, so we thank you one and all for all your contributions to the website itself and of course, our ever active forum.

For those easily offended or under 16, then we recommend you don't read any further. To the rest of you, enjoy :)