Football Favourite magazine

Links With The Past: Sports Magazine Featuring Johnny Duncan

In the Club’s archive there is a fragile 94-year-old 20-page magazine called The Football and Sports Favourite.

First published in September 1920 as The Football Favourite, the magazine was rebranded as The Football and Sports Favourite seven months later and went on to publish 447 weekly issues until it ceased publication on 30 March, 1929. Each edition cost two old pennies, 0.01p, and it was issued every Wednesday. Today, their value is about £35.

The edition in the Club’s archive dates to 7 April, 1928. The front cover features Leicester City’s captain Johnny Duncan. This was described as a ‘signed colour portrait’. It was intended to be cut out and saved as part of a series of famous football ‘grand portraits’ from the magazine’s covers.

On page six of the magazine, an article entitled ‘All about Duncan’ describes him as ‘a Scottish international and one of the finest half-backs in the land’. It mentions that he was a schoolboy sports champion in Lochgelly and that he was a star at Raith Rovers. It refers to his move to Leicester City in 1922 with his brother Tom to re-join Peter Hodge, his old manager at Raith Rovers, and that he was made Club captain after his first month at Filbert Street.  

On the day that this magazine was published, City defeated Newcastle United 5-1 at St. James’ Park, with Arthur Chandler scoring four goals. Just over three weeks later, Duncan’s team finished the season in third place in the old First Division, behind champions Everton and runners-up Huddersfield Town. The following season, Duncan went one better. He captained Leicester to the runners-up spot in the top division, one point behind champions Sheffield Wednesday.

The magazine’s A4 size pages are full of very small print text, with very few pictures. The articles include five fictional football-related stories, articles about to current football issues, a football-related cartoon and a column by the famous England international Steve Bloomer. Other sports covered, to a lesser extent, are rugby league and boxing.

One notable characteristic of the magazine is that throughout, it assumes the readership is exclusively male. 

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