2 Bags of Sand is a 100% unofficial fanzine for 1874 Northwich. Hope you like fruit hats.
But why the name? Why the fruit hats? Why anything?
2 Bags of Sand was started in the summer of 2019 when some fans of 1874 Northwich Football Club met to discuss how they could press on and make a difference to the matchday experience of their club. As a fan-owned and fan-run club, nobody else was going to do it for them. There has been plenty written about 1874 Northwich, but if you don't know them, everything you need can be found here - click.
Many proposals were discussed at that meeting, from flags to podcasts and back again, but one of the ideas that stuck was one that, to be fair, had been gestating for a while. Where was the outlet for something a little different? Somewhere to be irreverent, to make observations, to poke fun, to crack in-jokes, to be political, to gently wind up other supporters, to support campaigns, or even somewhere that could provide a dissenting voice should we ever need it.
Sure, online forums can provide that, but what about something a little more old school? Something with a little fanfare?
That’s hopefully where we step in. We’re unofficial, independent, and always happy to hear from potential contributors willing to write or create something on the topic of 1874, non-league, Northwich, or just the wider context of football and the communities we're part of. Come see us at games or on twitter, and let's make this fanzine something the '74 movement can be proud of.
We are the spirit of the Kyle Riley indirect free kick, the distillation of the Scott McGowan hat trick, the essence of every time Jacko goes "JACKO'S" and puts a massive donk on it, and the beating heart of Conkie running it past the halfway line. We are 2 Bags of Sand.
All being well, 2 Bags of Sand should normally be released four times per season:
Open Season - late August
Mid Season - early November
Late Season - mid January
Close Season - late March
During the off-season, we also produce a handmade, limited edition, unofficial season review.
WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
We know how important financial transparency is to our fans, and people have asked in the past where the money from fanzine sales is going. The short answer is, split between the club and a local community charity.
The long answer is this. At games, 2bos is £1 to buy. It started as £1, and inflation allowing, we would like it to always cost £1, with the exception of the season review. We have zero ambitions to be personally better off as a result of the zine, and the first few issues have all been run at a loss and out of love for the club rather than with the aim of any financial gain. So, a running total of costs and sales will be kept through the season, and all net profits will be donated in two separate lump sums to the club and a chosen charity at the start of the following season. This season, we have sponsored Lucas Weir and donated to the club's St Luke's Hospice fundraiser.
Online sales through our Big Cartel site are slightly different, and prices have to be increased there to cover running costs.
The website, however, is pure vanity. Any costs it incurs will be met from our own pockets.
We are well aware that we are standing on the shoulders of giants here at 2bos. We're far from ground-breaking. Zines have been around for years, and in more politically active and pioneering formats than the festival of dad jokes and shithousing that we are.
That said, there does seem to be a little renaissance of zines at the moment, particularly in the lower leagues, and I would encourage anyone interested to go looking, because it is a wave that we are more than happy to be a part of.
All of the following have provided inspiration in some way, and many of them have also provided reassurance and support, even if just in the form of those precious retweets:
SHAG. Dial M for Merthyr. Voice of Treason. STAND. Y Front. All to Nah and LeToMaGiC. Privett Life. Kenny's on Corners. If I Hadn't Seen Such Riches. The Nose Bag. View. The Blue and White. View From the Allotment End. The Black Watch. Killie Hippo. Duck.
During the FA Vase run of 2017-18, we were drawn at home to Tow Law Town FC. Our home at that point being Winsford United's ground, we made our way to Winsford on the day of the match only to be informed that the recent bad weather had affected 'the bad patch' on the pitch to such an extent that the game would have to be called of. Naturally, we were disappointed.
Not quite as disappointed as Tow Law however.
Their fans, having already reached Lancaster on their trip down for the day, reacted with incredulity online to the news of the postponement, duly informing us all much to our bemusement that it was, quote, 'sunny in Lancaster'.
The Tow Law team were similarly unimpressed, with one of their officials taking to the internet to complain that 'two bags of sand' would have sorted out the bad patch. And ruined the pitch for weeks on end, of course, but nevermind that. The referee continued to disagree with them however, as did the pitch for that matter, and the match remained postponed.
We ended up winning the rearranged fixture and went on to reach the semi-finals that year, but the phrase 'two bags of sand' has passed into infamy amongst our supporters. When picking a name for the zine, it was the obvious choice.
OKAY, FINE. BUT, WHY FRUIT HATS?
An important question, for sure, but let me answer your question with another question:
Why not fruit hats?