<“Made In Brum, OOOOnly a pound!”>
Remember those days? Made in Brum first hit the streets of Garrison, Tilton and Coventry in 1999 for the bargain price of 100 pennies. Of course, with costs rising in the decade since, and with the increase in VAT, etc, it’s now more like, “Made in Brum, only £1.50” which doesn’t have the same ring to it but it’s still a quality read, even if I do say so myself, seeing how I write for that fine publication, and all 😉
The Editor of said magazine, and announcer of afore-mentioned excellent value for money (less than half the price of the ‘official programme’ and less tied to the party-line) is Big Dave Thomas, he runs a Facebook page for ‘Made In Brum’, and has agreed to chat with us, to gain an insight into his job, magazine and thoughts on the Blues, past, present and future…
So Dave, you’ve been selling Made in Brum since 1999. Perhaps you could answer a few questions…..?
No worries Russ, fire away….
Q. Any interesting (famous?) fans you’ve sold the MIB to?
A. A fair few ex Blues players have bought MIB or been given a copy. Glynn Purnell bought some Cup winners badges last season and I gave him a fanzine. I asked him if he would do an interview with the Gabbie Cabbie and myself and he was only too pleased to do it. I’m hoping that it will be in the Coventry issue. A member of the Blues board has a copy of every issue and the Chinese contingent were given copies when they arrived and David Gold used to have copies here and there along with quite a few media blokes (Colin Tattum, Tom Ross to name a couple) who have been covering our games. I also think that the former Mayor of Birmingham used to buy it regularly.
Q. Which is your favourite player of the past? Present?
A. The present is a bit difficult as anyone of our current players who I like might get sold and say something derogatory about our club and that would really bug me. But to be fair, I’d say my current favourite is Stephen Carr as he always gives his all. Players from way back? Well most Noses of my age say Trevor Francis and Bob Latchford but I’m going to go for Bob Hatton. He was something special, and in his own words ‘he set up Bob Latchford’s goals’. Unfortunately for Bob, TF and Latchford always stole the headlines!
Q. What do you make of the Carson Yeung years?
A. That is a difficult one. Any Bluenose who regularly purchases MIB will know my stance on our former board, and my dislike for them in the latter years. So at first I thought Yeung was a Godsend but now I’m beginning to think he was sent by the devil. Where is all this is going to end? One thing is almost certain, it isn’t going to be a good ending!
Q. How did your day at Wembley ‘pan out’?
A. Had a fantastic day, like every Bluenose. Went down on the day by train, the first one out of Moor Street and we made our way to the Green Man. It was a lovely sunny day in the beer garden downing some very nice beer and then the heavens opened up. It seemed like every Nose who’d been drinking in the beer garden squashed themselves into the boozer. We did plan on getting down to Wembley earlyish and walking up the ‘Way’, you know, do all the stuff. It didn’t work out like that though as we stayed far too long in the pub and drank too much. Like everyone, we got drenched walking the fairly short distance to our entrance. We even got wet inside the ground as the roof above us had a leak! I even managed to sell a few MIB’s and shout ‘Maaaaaaaaaaaade in Brum’ at the end of Wembley Way which was good, well for me it was! (laughs)
Q. Are you open for guest contributors?
A. Contributors are always welcome. In fact, the more the merrier. I consider myself very fortunate to have some great contributors already (including your good self!) It’s always good to have more Noses on board putting over their point of view about the club we all love.
Q. What did you think of Alex McLeish’s departure?
A. I really haven’t got a problem with him leaving, it’s just who he went to. I think that the majority of Bluenoses disliked his style of football, but he did win us a Cup, and I know that I’ll never forget that great day. More is sure to come out about why he left, it’s just the way he did it that stinks.
Q. What do you think of Chris Hughton?
A. Of all the managers out there, I think the board have picked a gem. The problem is in football, anything can happen. Will he be able to build a squad with enough quality to get us promoted at the first attempt? Will he be able to assemble a big enough squad given the number of games we could be playing (kneels on floor clasping hands together that we at least, get to the group stages of the Europa Cup)? I feel for him though as he must be thinking ‘what the hell is happening?’ since he arrived at the club.
Q. What do you think of our signings so far? Realistic targets?
A. Bosmans? It’s the future for Blues, well it certainly looks that way. Rooney might turn out to be THE striker who finally can get more than 20 goals for Blues, but goal scoring strikers and Blues aren’t usually said in the same sentence.
Q. What did you think of Craig Gardner heading for Sunderland?
A. Again, haven’t got a real problem with him leaving, the problem for me was his interview on the radio beforehand when he didn’t once mention his love for Blues. All he said was that he had to play in the Premier given the season he’d just had and the money side of things. Only afterwards has it come out that he was ‘forced out of the club’. Then again, I’d say to any Bluesnose, why not google Craig Gardner and Aston Villa and see what comes up, it’s an eye opener!
Q. Scariest moment as MIB Seller?
A. I’ve sold at the majority of grounds around the country where the stewards haven’t threatened to get me arrested, even Millwall in our famous Play-off semi win, but the most hair raising was only last season when we played West Ham in the Carling Cup semi-final, second leg at Stan’s. Things were starting to get a bit tasty when out of nowhere the ICF appeared. They came up the Coventry Road without a police escort and all hell broke loose. People were getting smacked all over the shop. I still stood there shouting ‘Made In Brum’ when a fellow Bluenose grabbed hold of me and my bag and said ‘Dave, you got to get out of here!’ So we went and stood with our backs to the wall ready for an attack. When I thought about it later anyone could have walked past and clocked me one. Happy days!
Q. Favourite Blues moment?
A. Need you ask? It’s got to be the Carling Cup final win, but a close second has to be Cardiff and the Play-off final win. Back in the Seventies (1972) I’d say it was down at Orient when Blues won to get promotion, that night was almost ruined again by the Cockney’s, it was Millwall that night though.
Q. Do you ever visit Joys and Sorrows?
A. I do visit lots on message boards and J&S is one. I’m not one to put messages on though, I just like to look from afar!
Q. Any question you wish I’d asked you?
A. Well, yeah, will we be still supporting Birmingham City F.C. or AFC Birmingham in the near future? Scary times….
Well, that was an amazing insight into a true Bluenose, a guy who not only follows Blues home and away, but also braves the elements to bring you an amazing fanzine. Hopefully, he’ll leave us with an anthemic shout….
Go on Big Dave, lay it on us…..”MAAAAAADE IN BRRUM…..ONLY ONE FIFTY”. 🙂
If you’ve not bought MIB before why not just give it a go, you might just enjoy it and become a regular?!
The MIB Will be on sale at every home match this season, beginning with today’s friendly with Everton. It will also be sold at some away games, especially if the stewards haven’t gotten Big Dave arrested 🙂 Keep Right On, mate…