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With so much written about Manchester United by people in the media and the old stereotype criticisms from the so called professional writers, it's refreshing to read club fanzines. In the mid to late 1980's, fanzines came on the scene. Written by supporters for the supporters, the fanzine became popular on terraces up and down the country. It seemed that every club had one as followers grew tired of the often patronising match programme, and instead chose to read the thoughts of those who were stood and sat around them. With United being such a big club it was perhaps no surprise that they had more than one fanzine at this time. One of them was United We Stand. Started in 1989 by ambitious teenagers, the fanzine has gone from being a small and at times badly put together one to today's A4 size spectacle. As the editor and his friends matured so did United We Stand. At first it featured some badly drawn cartoons and the criticism of players and rival teams was at times childish. The fanzine sold today could be easily mistaken for a magazine with it's size and glossy cover. It features well thought out articles not just about United but also other teams and important issues for supporters, like safe standing. The feel of the city of Manchester is there with articles written about the city and the culture that goes with it, including clothes and music. A couple of the articles that are written are hard to understand unless you are from the area or a match going red. The fanzine prides itself on being a representative for the clued-up United fans who follow their team through thick and thin and always have done and always will. It sees the faults of the club and despises the new fan element that came to the club in the 90's when the success started again. By reading this fanzine you can almost feel the passion from each writer, as they make various points about different issues. There are some regular contributors and yo
u feel that you know them personally or indeed it could be you writing the articles as they talk about their beliefs and experiences with such feeling. The fanzine is also very amusing as it pokes fun at the football world in a clever way, not like many fanzines that do this in a small minded and offensive manner. It is not afraid to say things that the media never would about United and this is a major plus point. It is the voice of the fans. I would recommend this fanzine to anyone with more than a passing interest in football as it's a good read, but it's produced for United fans so obviously the world is seen through red tinted glasses and not everyone can agree with the points made by the contributors, even other United fans. United We Stand along with Red Issue has survived for almost 13 years while other fanzines like K Stand and The Shankill Skinhead only ran for a while. It can be bought on matchdays outside the ground or is available in some newsagents in the city. Subscriptions are available to anywhere in the world and arrive within just a few days of the latest issue being released. The fanzine has a website which is updated regularly and also a message board so that you can talk to other United fans about lots of varied subjects. On it the website is also a section about subscriptions. The website is run by rivals.net and can be got on to via any club website using rivals or through rivals home page.