First issued in September 1951, Charles Buchan Football magazine is credited as being one of, if not the first, football magazines ever. It ran for an amazing 274 issues until 1974 when it was closed due to the “high cost of publishing” .. the sum it was selling for at the time of closure – 20p !!
However nearly 23 years previous to that it went live with the words;
“our object is to provide a publication that will be worthy of our National game and the grand sportsmen who play and watch it”
It went on to have 3 titles during its life, Charles Buchan Football Monthly, Football Monthly and finally Football Monthly Digest.
The breakdown of the titles went as follows;
- Issues 1-240 Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly
- Issues 241-264 Football Monthly
- Issues 265-274 Football Monthly Digest
From the beginning the magazine contained black and white pictures of the eras players with colour versions appearing in 1953.
We have hundreds of these old player pictures for sale on this site here
In 1957 the magazine began featuring centre page spreads of team line ups.
We do have loads of these team line ups for sale on our main football memorabilia site (yes, we’ve commited the cardinal sin of ripping up some of some Charles Buchan magazines!!)
As a measure of how popular this magazine was it had at one time a circulation approaching 250,000, this might not sound extreme but if you bear in mind that popular every day magazines currently have circulation figures nearer to 25,000 you get an idea of exactly what a phenomenon this magazine was.
Unfortunately though like all good things it had to come to an end and it did so in 1974 with the announcement;
It is with regret that we have to announce that this is the last issue of Football Digest. There are many factors which have forced this unhappy decision, not least of which has been the tremendous increase in the last few months of paper, printing and distribution costs. They have leapt to such a degree that it is not now possible to continue publication without increasing the price substantially. This, we feel, we cannot do. We thank our readers and our advertisers for the loyalty they have shown us during past years, and hope that they will miss us just as much as we will miss them.”