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Monday, 27 June 2022 - 13:49
chanonry remembered
a new plaque to visit.
Tuesday, 19 April 2022 - 19:45
emerald isle tour 2022
hitting the road again for afc heritage.
Saturday, 30 October 2021 - 11:59
john callander
one of our own
Saturday, 31 July 2021 - 10:34
the football rally
no social media in 1907 but when dons' fans wanted to get geed up for the new season they always had the printed word:
Sunday, 16 May 2021 - 10:53
there's a time to shop
trust fundraising online store
Friday, 15 January 2021 - 14:00
remembering donald colman
afc heritage trust remembers donald colman, hall of fame member and inventor of the dugout.
Sunday, 17 May 2020 - 10:33
aberdeen football club grounds pre-pittodrie
where the dons' victorian forebears played.

by jock gardiner, scottish editor of groundtastic
Sunday, 15 March 2020 - 14:28
new addition to the aberdeen collection
pictures by the thousand.
Tuesday, 03 December 2019 - 13:20
the red army
a cracking book at any time of the year.
Friday, 23 August 2019 - 16:52
tale of a ticket
a good deed in 1954
Tuesday, 06 August 2019 - 15:27
halliday for the scottish football hall of fame
time to get a superb goalscorer and great manager national recognition.
Monday, 15 July 2019 - 15:41
dating the dugout
donald colman's innovation
Saturday, 08 June 2019 - 12:47
mission complete - bob and jock cover the grounds
32 in 32 becomes 44 in 39.5
Friday, 26 April 2019 - 08:20
bob and jock ready to go again
#afc32in32 - 32 grounds in 32 hours for the heritage trustees
Monday, 25 March 2019 - 14:00
new plaque at pittodrie as part of heritage trail
new plaque at pittodrie as part of dons' heritage trail project.
Monday, 07 January 2019 - 16:27
that's why they call them "the dons"
Saturday, 01 December 2018 - 12:38
news of the day
more historical snippets coming from afc heritage trust.
Tuesday, 11 September 2018 - 11:15
remembering aberdeen association fc
afc heritage trust remembers the foundation of the aberdeen association football club
Aberdeen Association Founders Plaque
Monday, 30 July 2018 - 14:31
afc former players annual golf outing 2018
event to be held at craibstone golf course 14th sep
Friday, 13 July 2018 - 19:51
aberdeen captain shot dead
fundraiser turns to disaster.
Aberdeen's First Badge
Tuesday, 08 May 2018 - 16:54
fundraising fans to help the heritage trust
aberdeen fc superfans to visit 18 highland league clubs in 18 hours to raise funds for new museum
AFC18in18 logo
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 - 15:29
numbers on the front
the definitive story of the washington whips 1967
Thursday, 09 November 2017 - 20:02
armistice day 2017
event at pittodrie
Sunday, 08 October 2017 - 16:25
numbers on the front
the story of the washington whips
Saturday, 19 August 2017 - 13:39
jimmy philip lecture
ref who became manager
Trust Logo
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 - 10:31
female footballers in aberdeen
first women's football in the granite city?
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 - 11:27
lady footballers at pittodrie

fine display by dick kerr's xi

plucky display by aberdeen team

Friday, 14 April 2017 - 17:34
a fanzine story
thirty years old this year - the northern light and its heirs
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 - 15:51
one for the statos
lennie loses a goal
Tuesday, 01 November 2016 - 10:50
prized programme gifted to afc heritage
rare programme from aberdeen's first european away match added to the aberdeen collection
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 - 18:05
big red quiz 2016
come and have a go if you think you're red enough!
Saturday, 03 September 2016 - 10:36
peacock add to the aberdeen collection
the dons and pink floyd come together on the peacock stand at the aaf
Tuesday, 19 July 2016 - 18:39
jimmy philip medal
jimmy gains a canadian gift
Tuesday, 07 June 2016 - 16:21
whips remembered
special memento of the washington whips team.
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 - 20:01
tales from the dugout
a collection of sometimes ribald football stories about what goes on in dugouts across the country.
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 - 15:34
armistice day at pittodrie
2015 commemoration
Remembrance Poppy
Tuesday, 27 October 2015 - 14:44
big red quiz 2015
annual challenge to find the reddest fans around!
Sunday, 06 September 2015 - 14:42
if goalposts could talk
the life and times of inverurie locomotive works football club
by david r. fasken
Sunday, 30 August 2015 - 17:40
graham leggat - star of the a. f. c.
always a hero
Saturday, 01 August 2015 - 16:17
opening day 1899
language, gentlemen, please!
Saturday, 22 November 2014 - 16:44
historic poster revealed
afc heritage and buckie thistle rescue a shared piece of aberdeenshire cup history
Monday, 10 November 2014 - 16:25
armistice day at pittodrie
the sixth annual commemoration to remember aberdeen fc's war dead to be held.
Monday, 13 October 2014 - 11:53
vintage boots discovered
a pair of football boots dating to 1904 to go on show at pittodrie.
Saturday, 11 October 2014 - 11:59
big red quiz a big red success
knowledgeable dons fans help raise funds for afc heritage
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 - 20:34
big red quiz night
show off your dandy knowledge and help the funds of the afc heritage trust - friday 10th october 2014.
come and have a go if you think you know enough!
Thursday, 17 July 2014 - 16:54
a view on football
aberdeen under the football fiend. (by an occasional)
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 - 12:59
a new display for the latest trophy
dons' fans help to get the league cup on show at pittodrie
Monday, 31 March 2014 - 14:02
coca-cola bike winner announced
stephen's bike goes north
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 - 13:56
happy real birthday aberdeen
aberdonian football hits 132 years old.
Friday, 14 February 2014 - 11:47
king of the wild frontier
sing a song of graham leggat
a fanzine story
The Northern Light

14 April 2017 17:34

For Aberdeen fans, the fanzine movement came to town when The Northern Light exploded on the scene in a supernova of bile and ribald humour at the expense of any and all opposition. The mission statement - if anybody had bothered with one, might have been "To Burst the Bubbles of Pomposity."

The first edition, complete with Flossie the Sheep on the front cover, standing in front of a silhouette of Pittodrie?s Old Beach End. The sheep wore a red and white scarf on an otherwise monochrome page and that scarf was hand coloured on every copy of that edition. Eventually something like a thousand copies finding their way into the hands of the cognoscenti amongst the Pittodrie faithful. It was December 1987 when the "rag" first went on sale - not outside Pittodrie, but on the terraces at an away match against Celtic. It had been in the planning and preparation for quite a while and since this was a bit before the sophistication of computer publishing technology, cut and paste had meant just that, with every photo, cartoon and article cut to the size and shape required with scissors, and pasted with a Pritt stick onto A4 pages?something like a gummy jigsaw puzzle.

From humble (well, not that humble) beginnings the fanzine boomed in popularity and it was usual for maybe 4500 copies to be sold before a home match, with the biggest problem being the logistics of getting the copies to the sellers. It was an era when fanzines were springing up everywhere and the interest amongst fans was huge. It was easy to come up with wild and wacky ideas for poking fun at the opposition, the press the football authorities and even people at the club itself. There was a mixture of bitter criticism and constructive suggestions scattered amongst the cartoons and pontification. By the punters, for the punters.
Unsurprisingly, a lot of creative fans came forward to contribute to the pages and some of them have since moved on to be well known in the commercial press, gutter or otherwise. Other groups also had a stab at setting up their own publications, but these tended to be one-off affairs that were not very good.

TNL ran for only 24 editions spread over about four years, before it was decided to end it whilst it was still at the top of its game. The movement didn?t end though, and not long after The Northern Light cease, a new publication got going in the form of The Paper Tiger - put together by some of the former TNL crew, just as funny, perhaps a bit more bitter, but a great read and containing some inspired artwork. The Tiger waved its tail for about twelve issues. Hot on the heels of TPG came another product of the TNL former players. This one was intended as a one-off edition to mark the official opening of the new Beach End (Richard Donald Stand) and was a give-away on the streets before the game. It is hard to believe now, but it was really hard to give people their free copies of The Red Final, many folk viewing it with suspicion, perhaps thinking that it was some political propaganda sheet.

Whatever the reasons, the creators had enjoyed the process of putting TRF together and an official Number 1 followed. The aim of the early editions was to allow the creators to have as much fun with football as possible and to create enjoyment and atmosphere around the Dons. As with The Northern Light before it, TRF quickly grew in circulation and cries of "RED FINAL!" could be hear loud and clear around the ground on matchdays.

Not long after TRF came another fanzine called "Ten Men Went to Mow" which ploughed its own furrow and had a different look and feel to all of the other main Dons' fanzines. Unlike The Red Final, which can still be found on sale at games outside Pittodrie albeit with smaller sales than in the past thanks to the intervention of the internet, TMWTM didn't last very long, although its editor went on to produce football material on the world wide web.

The Red Final has changed editors and character over the years, but it has survived where other fanzines vanished so it has to claim credit in the culture of Dons' supporters. Let's hope, though that there are budding new creators waiting in the wings to bring their thoughts and humour to the printed page and maintain the admirable thirty-year tradition of Aberdeen fans producing the best and funniest material you can find on the streets.

The master copies of all the editions of The Northern Light are a part of The Aberdeen Collection having been donated recently by former contributor and co-founder, the Old Beach Ender.



The AFC Heritage Trust is interested in all kinds of social history stories relating to the Dons and the fans and would like to hear from fellow Dandies who have a story to tell. Please email

We would also like to hear from contributors to the Aberdeen Fanzines with their own tales of their part in the movement and what experiences they had.