A magazine dedicated to the growing phenomenon of foreign football holidays has been launched by a former regional newspaper editor.
Jim Stewart, former editor of the Bedford Times & Citizen and the Biggleswade Chronicle, founded Football Weekends after realising there was a gap in the market for those interested in taking sporting trips abroad.
The 100-page glossy monthly publication being sold in newsagents throughout the UK and Ireland.
Jim, 41, took voluntary redundancy as part of Johnston Press cuts last year after 25 years with the company.
Said Jim: “I’ve always enjoyed taking in football matches at home and abroad and saw a gap in the market for a magazine on the subject.
“After leaving my editor role I had the opportunity to pursue it. I took a Guardian Masterclass course on setting up a magazine and that gave me the basic knowledge, and confidence, to give it a try.
“It’s been a steep learning curve for me as I’ve had to deal with all aspects of the publishing process, but it’s been a great deal of fun too.”
The magazine features information for those wishing to travel to games abroad – including how to get there, the sights to see, the best bars plus a matchday stadium guide.
The first issue of Football Weekends includes an 18-page feature on Madrid.
There are further guides to Debrecen in Hungary and NEC in Nijmegen, Netherlands. Plus there’s advice on enjoying a Dortmund ‘double header’ weekend and hopping over the Channel to Boulogne in France.
Domestically the spotlight falls on Coventry’s controversial Ricoh Arena as well as St Johnstone in Scotland. And it looks back at the history of Maine Road in Manchester.
Jim has penned most of the first edition himself but hopes to feature more contributed copy in future editions.
He added: “Building a weekend around watching a football match is becoming ever more popular, both at home and abroad.
“Many fans are keen to experience different venues and Football Weekends hopes to help make those hopes and dreams a reality.”
Football Weekends is on sale, priced £4.50, at newsagents across the UK and Ireland, and is also available to order at www.footballweekends.co.uk