The first issue of Up The Arse! was published in October 1992.
It consisted of items originally written for The Gooner‘s North Bank Times, which the editor didn’t think were funny enough. Looking back, we have to concede he was right!
However, undaunted by this rejection, two parody fanzines, “One-Nil Down, Three One Down” and “The Goner“, were also written and handed out free to an unsuspecting audience. Bizarrely people seemed to like them so we wondered what would happen if we asked them to pony up cash for more.
The working title of the pilot issue was “…And Going Off Is Number 11” – a reference to Anders Limpar constantly being substituted by George Graham for you youngsters. The front page became the cover of UTA! #1. There were 32 copies were produced, of which the editor still has 16. Don’t be suckered by dealers on eBay – if you’ve got a pilot issue, it is still worthless.
We’ve had a lot of fun over the years. Our celebrated run in with Hewlett Packard’s led to them dumping their sponsorship of T*ttenh@m H*tspur after we named and shamed them in public. They didn’t learn their lesson but that’s another story.
Other successes include:
- The editor having a go at Spurs web sites on BBC Radio Five’s “Big Byte”
- Successfully surviving the bad taste cover of issue 9
- Avoiding arrest when a Policeman objected to the editor shouting out “Up The Arse, Only 50p”
- Outing Kate Hoey as a Cockney Red in Private Eye.
- Dodging the threat issued in front of several Police Officers by Alan Esparza of the “Arsenal Action Group” (sic) to burn the editor’s house down over an article in issue 36.
- Getting ourselves on the email block list of the Premier League’s weasel lawyers.
The web site was started in January 1996 when we were the first Arsenal Fanzine on the web. The original pages were on CompuServe, so if you’ve come here from that link, you’d better update your favourites pretty damn quick! We moved to Demon Internet in September 1996 but after they stopped their free pages and we had to start paying for hosting we moved to Active 24 in August 2000, mostly because they weren’t based in the UK and so allowed us to do an Arkell vs Pressdram to angry readers, organisers of top division football leagues and enormous multinational computer companies all making threats to get our jokes removed from the internet or else!
Criticism is always welcome, especially from Spuds fans… after all, it’s what fills our letters page and provides inspiration for new gags.
Please note that all stuff we write is subject to copyright, a concept that the mainstream media thinks only applies to their stuff. We don’t write this stuff as free filler for journalists who are too bloody lazy to do their jobs properly. However, we don’t mind fair use by others as long as we get some credit for writing it in the first place.