Friday, 30 July 2010

The Saints Fanzine has landed...

And it is here with a week to spare before the season starts. We are pleased to announce that the first batch of The Saints Fanzine arrived from the printers today and it is looking cracking. We will be selling it at this week's friendlies against Reading and Eastleigh - find us tomorrow by the footbridge on Northam Rd and also on Britannia Rd. The first issue costs just £1 and features:

- An exclusive Glenn Cockerill interview
- World Cup chat with journo Jeremy Wilson
- A catch up with Saints ledge Marian Pahars

Besides a host of new Saints-oriented content. All for a quid!

In the meantime, please follow us on Twitter - and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Graham Poll speaks to R&W Bill

Thanks to our friends at The Coral Dugout, Red and White Bill has had the chance to quiz former top-flight and infamous World Cup referee Graham Poll on the performance of the men in the middle in South Africa.

Coming the day after Howard Webb became the first English referee since 1974 to run the rule over the final of the competition, his words are timely. He also gave the most useful and rounded answers to questions out of the three (former England players Martin Peters and Terry Butcher answered previously). Here are his thoughts on the issue of consistency versus common sense for referees, in which he gives some interesting insights.

You can view other answers from Poll and get more information on the Coral Dugout via Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

A special announcement...

The world of journalism may currently be in the grip of the move from print to online publishing, but here at Red and White Bill we love to buck the trend... that is why we are happy to announce that we will be launching a new club fanzine in time for the new season.

We hope to have it printed in time for the start of August and will be selling it at the pre-season friendlies against Reading and Eastleigh, and then before matches once the season-proper has started. The office is currently buzzing with content ideas and we are truly excited about producing the first new fanzine relating to the mighty Saints in years; one that will be produced by fans, for fans.

More details will be produced in due course, but in the meantime we would like YOUR HELP. If you have any ideas or would like information about advert space, please get in touch with either myself or James Hallett via the following means:

Will Wainewright
07828 178154

James Hallett
07811 848653

We are really excited about this project - please keep checking back for updates!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Marian Pahars interview

I meant to upload this a few weeks ago, but Glastonbury and the last week of university (yes, I was too busy having a good time) got in the way. Anyway, I managed to track Marian down recently and interviewed him over the phone. The former Saints star is currently coaching in his native Latvia and had some nice things to say to Saints fans. Enjoy the piece, The Daily Echo's sports weekly The Pink ran it on their front page.

Saints’ Swiss-powered revival in League One has attracted a lot of attention this season and one man looking on from afar has been the former fans’ favourite Marian Pahars, who has followed the side’s prospects keenly since leaving four years ago.

“I follow Saints over the internet,” says the gifted Latvian international, who acquired cult status on the south coast after joining for £800,000 in 1999. “I don’t have a chance to see them as they only show Premier League matches in Latvia, but I make sure I keep up with how the team are doing.”

The ‘Latvian Michael Owen’ was recommended to Saints boss Dave Jones by Latvia national team manager Gary Johnson and went on to score 45 goals in 156 appearances for Saints.
He became an instant hit with fans after playing a crucial role in the ‘Great Escape’ survival bid of the 1998/99 campaign, scoring three vital goals in the run-in, including both in the crucial final-day 2-0 win over Everton at the Dell.

Now retired and coaching at Skonto Riga, one of his first clubs in his native Latvia, Pahars took the time to speak to The Pink and reflect on his time at Saints. “All the Saints years were great,” he said. “They are just one big happy memory. Every day I spent there was fantastic.”
Renowned for his phenomenal pace and dribbling ability, Pahars enjoyed a prolific partnership with James Beattie, scoring thirty between them in the 2001/02 season. He scored a number of landmark goals, including the winner in Saints’ first ever league victory at St Marys against Charlton in 2001.

His sweetly-struck curler against Pompey in 2003 is also fondly remembered by fans, as is his goal at Old Trafford against Manchester United in 1999, which was preceded by an outrageous nutmeg on the bewildered Jaap Stam.

His tendency to score important and memorable goals could make it difficult to choose a favourite, but he plumps instantly for a strike against Derby at the Dell. “I remember it well – I took it left-footed, and it flew into the top corner from 25 yards. I enjoyed it because I didn’t score so many from outside the area!”

The latter stages of the Latvian’s spell at Saints were marked by a series of persistent injury problems, and Pahars has not been back to visit St Marys since he left. “It is a shame but I have not been back to Southampton yet. I hope to return one day as I enjoyed a very special few years at Saints.”

Saints fans may also be pleased to hear his thoughts on the World Cup this summer. “You can never count out teams like Brazil and Germany, but England definitely have a chance.”

“The fans in Southampton will stay in my heart forever,” he said. “Since I arrived at the club they were fantastic, and stayed with me throughout my injury problems. I would just like to say a big thank you to them for all their support over the years.”

Marian Pahars Facts

- Despite his diminutive reputation, the ‘Latvian Michael Owen’ stood at 5 ft 9.
- He was signed by Saints after scoring a ‘classic’ hat trick (a goal with each foot and a header) in a reserve team match against Oxford United on in 1999.
- Pahars was the first Latvian to play in the Premier League.
- He scored 16 goals in 75 appearances for his national team and came on as a substitute in every game of their 2002 World Cup campaign.
- Pahars wore the no.17 shirt, as he did for his country.

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