Fair Game fills the void She Kicks left behind

Fair Game: enters growing market

A football magazine has been launched to reflect the growing popularity of women’s football.

Fair Game, a 52-page full-colour title, is hoping to cash in on the latest statistics from the Football Association which show that football has overtaken netball as the favourite sport of women for the first time.

The FA currently has 61,000 female members who will be targeted by the launch along with amateur players, coaches, managers and club secretaries.

The magazine is based in Gateshead and produced by the former editorial team of She Kicks – another women’s football magazine which closed last summer after its publisher Non League Media went into liquidation.

The three-strong team including features editor Claire Foy and news editor Wilf Frith, led by editor Jen O’Neill, were all made redundant from She Kicks and are hoping to revive the women’s football sector with a focus on the international game.

“There are eight or nine million females playing football in the US -you can’t really put out a women’s football magazine and ignore that,” O’Neill said.

The popularity of the sport in the UK has also been spurred on by the success of last year’s box office hit Bend It Like Beckham.

Compared to 10 years ago when there were only around 11,000 women playing football and there were fewer than 500 female teams, there are now more than 3,500 teams and the figure is rising annually.

Fair Game will be published bi-monthly and have a print run of 15,000.

The magazine will include features on health and fitness, interviews with players and advice on where to buy the best football boots.

O’Neill said it will also cover issues such as what kind of bra to wear, “things that are generic to women’s football and you wouldn’t get in a men’s magazine”, she added.

It will be available by subscription only initially, although some copies will be sold on the news-stands. The first issue will be free to subscribers who register via the website fairgamemagazine.com.

O’Neill, a former Times columnist, was also editor of On The Ball magazine, which later became She Kicks.

By Ruth Addicott

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