Rummage around inside the FA Constitution for a few hours and, secreted away in Section 439 Sub-section 54 Very-sub section B, you'll
find an article that says "All English football fans will feel the need to patronisingly 'look out for' a Scottish lower league club. They will never
attend any games, nor be seen to know anything about the club they claim to support, nor be able to give any rational reason
for their support. A bit like Man Utd supporters, then."
I'm no exception. The object of my distinctly half-hearted affections is East Fife; the reason, feeble
though it is, is that I have relatives up there who support them (that's a pathetic excuse because, as I
recall, they're even less enthusiastic about their local side than I am); the shameful truth is that I haven't
set foot north of the border for about ten years, let alone ventured to Bayview. It is, I suppose, marginally
better than supporting Rangers or Celtic...but not much.
So, anyway, enough about me. 'Away From The Numbers' is something of a mixed bag for those of
us who don't know the ins and outs of the relationship between the Fife and, say, Stirling Albion or Stranraer. Many of
the jokes and cartoons are simply mystifying, a tantalising glimpse into someone else's footie world - imagine
an East Fife fan stumbling across some Perry Digweed jokes and you've got some idea.
But it's pretty much good news otherwise. The editorials are informative and well-written (it makes a pleasant
change to see a typed fanzine that isn't desperately in need of a proof-read, he said snobbishly); it's reasonably
imaginative in its choice of articles (issue 34 includes stuff on football in Trinidad & Tobago and New Zealand); it
manages to disguise its faults within a certain DIY indie-zine kind of charm. At no point will you need to turn
the telly off to give it your undivided concentration and it won't take you more than about half an hour to read it all but,
equally, you won't chuck it straight in the bin either.
Just don't mention the team, that's all. Since gaining promotion to the First Division last season under the
guidance of the now-departed Steve Archibald (yes, that Steve Archibald - and, if the quotes, interviews and
praise assembled here are anything to go by, he's a rising star), East Fife have managed to win
just once in a 28 attempts, conceding 75 goals in the process. On Saturday, they finally got their points total into
double figures - hurrah!