Run from the back bedroom of secretary Alan Hardaker’s Blackpool bungalow, the League was devoted to showing everyone what a big, happy family their 92-member club was…
The Football League Review was a feelgood customer mag, given away free inside club programmes, where it bolstered many four- or eight-page lower-league efforts. However, the FLR was conspicuous in its absence from certain larger League grounds, where power brokers were already wary of growing League influence.
The Review was 5 pence ‘when bought separately’, which is to say never. It was full of behind-the-scenes peeks at the day-to-day running of all the League clubs, an article on the bootroom at Barrow being just as likely as a visit to the Arsenal trophy room. Then and now, its allure was almost entirely down to staff photographer Peter Robinson, who spent whole seasons travelling around snapping mascots at Mansfield and tea-ladies in Tranmere, thinking up ever more unusual formations for his teamgroups.
“I was conscious that I was different when I talked with other photographers at games,” he told When Saturday Comes. Robinson never missed an angle, an expression, an oddity or a location, showing more interest in football culture than the game itself. “I felt that you didn’t just have to start photographing when the ref blew his whistle. I was interested in the whole build-up to the game.”