Many Chester supporters will remember the Hello Albert fanzine that ran for 28 issues from 1990 to 2000. Edited by Colin Mansley its launch coincided with the departure from Sealand Road and ended with relegation to the Conference under Terry Smith.
In a traumatic 10 years it chronicled one promotion and three relegations alongside exile in Macclesfield, administration under Mark Gutterman and the emergence of the Chester City ISA.
The “stimulating and mildly amusing fanzine” took its name from the 1930s stadium announcer at Sealand Road who would greet supporters with the phrase “Hello Spion Kop. Hello Albert” addressing a long-standing supporter in the ground.
What is not so well known is that this was not the first Chester publication to use the name.
The Chester FC Supporters’ Club was formed in 1949 and not to be confused with the Chester FC Supporters’ Committee which had been established for over 30 years. At first the new group were allocated a small amount of space in the programme but at the end of 1950 they started to produce a very readable official newsheet edited by a Miss Hope. Priced at 1d, the four page publication was initially a folded sheet, slightly smaller than A4, and contained as much reading material as in the official programme. The usual format was an editorial by “Stingo” on the front page, an informative “Presenting the Players” on page 2, club activities on page 3 and a quiz, puzzle or competition on the back page.
I have a few, odd copies of this newsheet which appears to have been issued every two weeks. The first one I have in this format is number 6, dated March 3rd 1951.The last is number 16 dated October 13th 1951.
In 1953 the format changed as it became a flimsier, double-sided single sheet. The paper was now slightly larger than A4 and it contained more editorial content. The sheet numbering changed to volume 2 and again I have a few odd copies starting with number 1, dated August 22nd 1953 and ending with issue 14 on March 27th 1954.
I am guessing that the publication ended at the end of the 1953/54 season but I would be interested to hear from anyone who can fill in any gaps in my knowledge or who has old copies. I would especially like to know if the newsheet was issued in 1951/52 and 1952/53 or after the 1953/54 season.
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