CAST member Gavin Billenness is the editor of the new Charlton magazine My Only Desire which was launched in January and whose second edition will be on sale this Friday. The first edition was very well received both for its content and its design.
We caught up with Gavin this week to find out more about My Only Desire.
He has been a Charlton fan since 1986 and had started bringing his eight year old son to games before lockdown. He admitted that, as time goes by, he is becoming "more obsessed than ever" with the club. He described how, like many fans, he was beginning last summer to feel "petrified that the club was going to die" but that, after Thomas Sandgaard's purchase of the club, it was such a relief once again to be able "to celebrate a future". The idea for the magazine grew out of that relief.
He does not see My Only Desire as being in any way in competition with Voice of The Valley which he admires. "We don't have a particular agenda. We are not uncritical of the club but we mainly just want to celebrate all that is positive about it"
He used Twitter last year to gauge whether there might be interest in a new fanzine and was thrilled to discover the breadth and depth of the talented people who contacted him. In the first edition established journalists like Steve Charnock, Mike Backler, Declan Warrington and Liam Happe were supplemented by local writers David Thomson and Paul Breen. Paul Edwards provided photographs, including a simply stunning view of The Valley at night from Ransom Walk. Patrick Collins contributing an article on Sam Bartram was the jewel in the crown.
Gavin sees My Only Desire as primarily a labour of love but he would like to hope that in the longer term it will be able to break even and maybe even to be able to pay contributors at some point. He was very pleased to have "shifted 620 copies" of the first edition and he plans to be selling the magazine on the streets around The Valley when crowds are able to return to games.
Edition Two will include further contributions from the edition one writers plus articles by Steve Sutherland, Dave Lockwood, Benjy Nurick and someone called Heather McKinlay. Gavin is interested in ideas for future editions - "If you have an idea - pitch it to me"
You can order your copy of My Only Desire 2 here: