A FOOTBALL magazine success story from Wearside is going national.
The publishers of retro football publication Seventy3 are releasing a new England team mag next month, called Sixty6.
And in what they believe is a first, the copy will be launched in a half-print, half-digital format, with stories online teased as readers reach towards the back page.
Ex-Sunderland boss and England international midfielder Peter Reid has taken on the mantle of guest editor for “Issue Zero”, and will appear as a columnist in future editions.
About 20,000 free copies are being given away at football grounds around the country on Saturday, which the Football Association has announced will be National Football Day.
Fans can also get their hands on a copy outside the England v Scotland match at Wembley on Wednesday, August 14.
Sixty6 and Seventy3’s publishing firm, Media73 Ltd, was formed in 2011 to publish retro magazines for supporters of SAFC and Glasgow Rangers.
The company also produced the Twenty13 fans final magazine for the League Cup final between Bradford City and Swansea City earlier this year.
Speaking of the new venture, Sixty6 editor-in-chief, Black Cats fan Mal Robinson, from Fulwell, said: “We always strive to provide something different for the reader, whether that be in the product or the way it is marketed or launched.
“For Sixty6 we decided the best way to entice the reader online is to offer them a slice of traditional media to send the message about the future, which is digital.”
The magazine also features columns from England Ladies player and former Sunderland Women’s midfielder, Jill Scott, fresh from playing in Euro 2013 in Sweden and a column from The Football Supporters’ Federation.
Issue Zero also sees former England stars Steve Hodge, Peter Shilton, Mark Walters and 1966 World Cup winner Nobby Stiles interviewed in the build-up to the Scotland game, which will mark the FA’s 150th anniversary.
Sixty6 will be a digital-only monthly magazine available to buy via the forthcoming free app, which also offers a mini free “magletter” every fortnight, along with other additional features. Individual issue prices start at 69p, with subscriptions on offer for three, six or 12-month periods.
Issue Zero can be reserved free at www.sixty6magazine.co.uk.