Legendary Former Editor Kevin Whitcher: Let's Help Save The Gooner Fanzine

Kevin Whitcher calls on Arsenal supporters to help Save The Gooner and explains how and why we should save such a Gunners institution

Legendary Former Editor Kevin Whitcher: Let's Help Save The Gooner Fanzine

Getcha Gooner: Save The Gooner. PICTURE: An image of the front cover of our 300th and current issue out now

Read legendary former Gooner editor Kevin Whitcher calling for Arsenal supporters to help Save The Gooner 

I edited The Gooner for Mike Francis from the summer 2000 onwards and in the summer of 2016, Mike handed me the reins completely and I became the owner of the fanzine lock, stock and barrel.

It was still selling respectably enough, but things were winding down where print media was concerned, and by Christmas 2017, I knew that were the fanzine to continue, I needed to secure the cost of printing it in advance of each season, and come up with a solution to the reality that a lot of Gooner readers were simply not attending matches so often, and not buying the latest issue as a consequence.

Ever changing kick-off times, not always having enough sellers, bad weather and things like being turfed off the Clock End bridge by over-officious club staff meant matchday sales couldn’t be relied upon.

I am ever grateful to the large number of matchday buyers who answered the first ‘Save The Gooner’ campaign in early 2018 and switched to receiving their issues in the post.

I had to up the price to a fiver, but increased the page count by an extra 20 pages to provide some value for the increase.

The majority of copies sold were by subscription going forward and people were good enough to continue renewing each spring so that I was able to hand over the fanzine to an enthusiastic Layth Yousif in the 2020 close season.

Layth had agreed to take The Gooner on a few weeks before Covid and Lockdown changed the picture dramatically, and could not have foreseen that pretty much all of his first season as editor would see no fans attending Arsenal matches.

Matchday sales might have been a struggle, but the income from the copies sold by the likes of Alex and Rich really help the bottom line.

So a difficult start and kudos to Layth for getting The Gooner to the landmark of 300 issues. I can’t say it would have happened were it still in my hands, because I could not afford – timewise - to do it as a labour of love, which financially, I imagine it has pretty much become now.

I’ll admit there are certainly some changes that I would not have made but hey, every editor stamps his own mark on a publication, so there’d be something wrong were that not the case. Everything has to evolve. 

What The Gooner still retains is some excellent, considered writing, not only about the current day goings on at the club, but some wonderful nostalgic pieces. Layth inherited an excellent team of writers and has added to it. And I much prefer reading my football opinion off a page rather than a screen, something I suspect goes for the majority of the fanzine’s target audience.

Granted, it won’t be around forever, but it will be sad day when the final ever issue is produced, and I urge anyone that can afford the £30 per year (or more if you can opt for the option that adds a little more to the pot) to commit for another season so that we can enjoy the fanzine for a while longer.

Once it’s gone, it’s gone, and were it not for Layth, I suspect it might not have even survived up until this point.

The double whammy of Covid and then the rise in printing costs due to increased prices for both paper and transportation has made his first three seasons in charge a challenge to say the least.

There is no disputing that the price of printing the fanzine has gone through the roof, so the more the number of subscribers Layth can get on board, and especially those that commit to an annual direct debit, the longer a lifespan the fanzine will enjoy.

Physically printed publications are far more of a joy to read, and looking back at my personal collection of issues, really tell the tale of Arsenal since issue one of The Gooner in the autumn of 1987.

For £30 you get six issues of quality Arsenal supporter opinion and nostalgia arriving through your letterbox every season, and play your part in keeping a supporter institution going.

The 300 issues milestone has been achieved, the next one will be the 40th anniversary issue in October 2027.

Let’s try and ensure the fanzine is still around to celebrate it. Save The Gooner!

Kevin Whitcher


So, to recap, here are the two options

United Kingdom:

Gooner Gold Subscription £45 – includes access to our digital edition (or gift it to a friend) and your name in print in our forthcoming Gooner Fanzine Hall of Fame.

Gooner Standard Subscription £30 - for those on a budget - subscription price frozen for yet another season.

Rest of the World:

Gooner Gold Subscription: £65 -  includes access to our digital edition (or gift it to a friend) and your name in print in our forthcoming Gooner Fanzine Hall of Fame

Standard Subscription: £49 - for those on a budget - price frozen for yet another year

All payment options are available through our online shop at:

Save The Gooner 2023-24 Subscriptions


We know that online banking isn’t for everybody so we will be able to accept cheques again this year Cheques should be made payable to ‘The Gooner’ and posted to:

The Gooner, 2nd Floor, 99 Bancroft, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG5 1NQ.

Please enclose a note with your full name, address, phone number and Email address or use the template below. As with previous years, cheques won’t be cashed until we reach our target 1000 UK subscribers. If we fail to reach our target, cheques will be destroyed. Please do not send cash through the post!

NEW! Subscribe to our weekly Gooner Fanzine newsletter for all the latest news, views, and videos from the intelligent voice of Arsenal supporters since 1987.

Please note that we will not share your email address with any 3rd parties.

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