A regional daily has launched a new football-focused weekly supplement – the second title to do so in as many weeks.
Middlesbrough’s Evening Gazette has introduced the Boro Live, an eight-page pull-out featuring facts, figures, analysis and columns from a range of people linked to the local team.
Among the familiar faces to feature is that of Eric Paylor, the Gazette’s Boro writer for around 25 years before retiring in 2011, who makes his return with a new weekly column.
Eric began covering Middlesbrough FC in 1985 and immediately began covering the club’s fight for survival after being relegated to the old third division.
Eric will draw on his experiences of the highs and lows – both on-pitch and behind the scenes – in a weekly two-page column.
Meanwhile, club statistician Shaun Wilson will provide facts and figures on the team each week.
The supplement also draws on the Gazette’s archive to look at days gone by with contributions from fans on the memory of the week generated through social media.
And the paper is also asking fans for their views on the supplement, with a special form for readers to fill in to submit their own contributions.
Gazette Editor Chris Styles said: “While the games come thick and fast in the Championship and a lot of our coverage is geared around covering these, we wanted to extend our analysis of all things Boro.
“Getting Eric on board is a great move. His experiences covering the Boro are fascinating and are a great foil for the Gazette’s talented Boro writers.
“Preparing the nostalgia features was a reminder of what a rich seam of material we have in our archive. It’s a great opportunity to put this to good use.”
The Gazette’s move comes after The News in Portsmouth relaunched its 109-year-old Saturday sports edition, the Sports Mail, on Saturday just nine months after axing it.
Bosses at the time declared the Mail was making a loss – but due to an “outpouring of emotion” from readers of the Johnston Press title they decided to bring it back, with a warning that it would disappear again if sales were poor.
By contrast, the Sheffield Star’s sports edition – the Green ‘Un – ceased print publication last month, going online-only.