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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Villa Fanzine Wins Major National Footie Award


Aston Villa’s ‘Vital Villa’ has today been crowned one of the country’s best football fanzines, as the results of ‘The New Football Pools Fanzine Awards 2008’ were unveiled to footy fans.

‘Vital Villa’s’ editor, Jonathan Fear, took the plaudits in the awards, which are hosted by The New Football Pools and the UK’s leading football research expert, the Football Fans Census, and are designed to celebrate the writing skills and editorial talent which have created the football fanzine phenomenon. Despite facing stiff competition, Jonathan from Birmingham, came out top and won the ‘Best Editor’ accolade.

Almost unbelievably good looking editor Jonathan Fear

Over 6,000 football fans voted for their favourite fanzine from across 92 English Premier and League clubs and all non-league clubs, with nine award categories up for grabs, ranging from ‘Best Premier League’ and ‘Best Non-League’ fanzine to ‘Best Editor’ and ‘Best Fanzine Blog’. Judges selected from the fanzines shortlisted by the fans, with each category rewarding the wealth of talent, flair and creativity which goes into producing some of the nation’s most iconic footy publications.

Jonathan, a lifelong Villa fan, was a clear winner in the ‘The New Football Pools Fanzine Awards 2008’ with the judges making the following comments:

Best Editor – Jonathan Fear, editor of ‘Vital Villa’ – Aston Villa FC

Well respected and admired by Villa fans, Jonathan Fear is described by his editorial team as ‘fun’, ‘witty’ and ‘having that rare ability to poke fun at the club he loves and at himself’. Judges were particularly impressed by the contribution he has made to improve the relationship between the fans and the club, especially during difficult times when the fans have struggled to find a voice.

Jonathan proved to be the pride of Birmingham, as his fanzine was the only one from the Midlands to pick up a national honour. The complete list of award winners are as follows:

1. Best Overall Fanzine – ‘A Love Supreme’ – Sunderland AFC
2. Best Premier League Fanzine – ‘A Love Supreme’ – Sunderland AFC
3. Best Championship Fanzine – ‘A Kick Up The R’s’ – Queens Park Rangers FC
4. Best League One Fanzine – ‘Monkey Business’ – Hartlepool United FC
5. Best League Two Fanzine – ‘The City Gent’ – Bradford City FC
6. Best Non-League Fanzine – ‘We’re Not Playing on THAT pitch’ – Silsden AFC
7. Best Editor – Jonathan Fear, editor of ‘Vital Villa’ – Aston Villa FC
8. Best Writer – Mickey Blue Eyes, writer for ‘Blue Kipper’ – Everton FC
9. Best Blog – ‘Kopblog’ – Liverpool FC

Jon Sheehy, director of marketing for The New Football Pools said: “From Liverpool to Leyton Orient, the National Football Fanzine awards are a tribute to the passion, dedication and talent which goes into writing the much-loved football fanzine. As a source for great banter, prediction and debate our winners really can claim to talk a good game.

'Both the quality of entries and the volume of votes received from the fans suggests that the passion for writing and debating all matters football remains as strong as ever. Congratulations to Jonathan at ‘Vital Villa’ and a big thank you to all who contributed. We hope it’s reward for the hard work which goes into writing it, as fanzines are a major part of our footballing culture and reflect the heartfelt views and opinions of the fans who follow their team through the good times and the bad.'

Fans can view all the results from the The New Football Pools Fanzine Awards 2008 by logging on to

I must admit when I was first told I ran down the street naked. I thought I'd won the new football pools and was dreaming of how I'd spend the million, I had to be hauled back to save my blushes - or more to the point the revoltion of my neighbours...!

Seriously, when nominated I thought it was great to have made the short list, but feel very proud to have won this award as I was up against some very tough competition. There, and you all just thought I was a madman. Now it's official, I'm the best madman in town!

I would thank you all, the co-eds, mods and users, but lets face it's all down to my genious, not yours!!!!!!!!!!! :o)

I don't expect to be treated any differently when we next meet, although obviously a small bow would be appropriate as well as refering to me as Mr Best Editor in future dealings!!!!

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday May 28 2008

Time: 11:55AM

Your Comments

I would like to think we all played a small part in this award.
still skeggy
In all seriousness well done Jon.
still skeggy
Well done Fear and congrats from all at Vital Wigan
Well done to all involved.....a pat on the back sir...
Well played J. throuroghly deserved. P.S. It was me who said "‘having that rare ability to poke fun at the club he loves and at himself’, now poke fun at yourself this instant Mr Jester! ;-)
Nice to see Aston Villa allowed you to use the stadium for the photo shoot, you earn theses awards.
Did you mean 'having that rare ability to poke fun at the club and he loves himself’ ? Congrats, well deserved - that's the Hong Kong Sevens and the Best Editor, how much more success can we handle!
I'll consider myself poked Deano! Villa treated me very nicely Col, even supplied the shirt to wear. It was you that tipped the balance Skeggy, no doubt at all ! :o)
The Fear
Well done The Fear - Well deserved - Keep up the good work
well done fear , u deserve some credit for this great site
Further evidence that the UK is dumbing down. Oh alright then - well done!!
Cheshire Villan
I do hope in your acceptance speech Fear you are going to mention your co-eds?!
Ah, I see you did.

I shall try again.

I do hope in your acceptance of this award Fear, that some form of reward will be made available for your co-ed's.
Well done!!
I will have your Phillipino lady boys polish it at once Sir and have it pride of place in the East Wing of Fear Towers, Redditch.
well done fear keep up the good work.
Astonian Villan
Genious!?!?! Congrats.
Adam Deuce
Congratulations! Well done and well deserved!
yeah, well done Villa have finally won summat! been a long wait
Nice one. Well done. \o/
Thanks guys! Beefy, the lady boy got confused as to what to polish. Most enjoyable five minutes I've had for a long time!
The Fear
Congratulations Jon!! Thoroughly well deserved!
Well done.
Congrats Jonathan - well played mate. (We wuz robbed!)
Well done young Fear.
Many congrats Mr The Fear BE. An award much deserved, living out of Brum it's nice to have a link with other Villans, cheers for the site Jon.
Well done all of you. This is a good site with great writing.
Not the best photo of you mate, far better looking in real life, oh well done on the award and that.
Well done JF! it's in no small part down to you that the likes of me, living halfway across the world, still feel part of the Villa community! Thanks a million, Boss!
Congratulations JF, well done,as a southern dwelling Villan the site has been a big find for me and the recent meet up an even bigger event, well done mate.
Well Done Jon, personally I think you just put The Fear into them...... ;) Well deserved award however!
Congratulations, Mr Fear. Long may you continue to be a calming influence and concerned fan in equal measure.
Shocking whos judging these things?Only joking well done.
Well done mate. I'm surprised i managed to keep it under wraps for a week. lol. Thoroughly deserved anyway. Congrats.
Congrats buddy
wow...Villa have won so many accolades this season. i wonder what to expect next season....hmmm...EPL anybody? :D
I actually think it was Murph who did all the hard work ;-)
Congrats and well deserved mate. You provide a great service to the fickle and frustrated Villans worldwide. PS. Why did you get Lurch from the Adams family to stand in on the photo for you?? @;-D
Very well deserved Jonathan. Can imagine that you put hours upon hours upon hours into this project, so it must be a very pleasing feeling to see your efforts recognised in this manner. Top Man - Well Done!
Best Villa fans website without question,well done all.
go on fear ya good thing!
oooh nice!
The Usual Suspect
Well done fear. Keep up the good work!
Well done Fear. Thx for all your hard work in keeping this thing going.
great job fear!
all those hours reading transfer rumours have paid off...
Of course I should have added earlier that VV is at something of an advantage over rival sites by having such an 'Almost unbelievably good looking editor' at the helm'.
fear aint going to take this post down, he likes the ego trip! well done mate! UTV!!!
lol bobbyfett, thing is I'm just soooooo good looking in that picture that it would almost be a travesty to unsticky this article from the top of the site! :o)))
The Fear
So the drinks are on you then! Congratulations JF, now if you can give us some decent transfer news...
Bigwire McGuire
Normally spam is deleted, why is this still here? :-)
Not bad Jonathan, not bad at all
Well done JP! Much deserved!
Well Done!!!!
Good work. Nice to see a trophy at Villa Park.
well done J from all at Vital Chelsea.
Well done Fear! Great work, big shout out to a Kick up the R's aswell, cracking fanzine.
Well done Fear, well deserved. Occasional visitor here but the content is always excellent and you obviously put a lot of work into this network so well done.
Little Dutch
Congratulations, well deserved.

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