All Sports Illustrated Weekly, published by Amalgamated Press Ltd., came out every Friday (although the publication date printed on each issue was always a Saturday) and was priced at 2d. The first edition went on sale week-ending 30th August 1919 and ran until May 1930, a total of 556 weekly issues, with the last edition on May 3rd 1930. It began as quite a large publication – approximately 250mm x 320mm – although by 1930 it had shrunk in size quite considerably. As its title suggests, it featured all sports; it leaned very heavily on football and cricket within their assigned ‘seasons’ but there were also plenty of racing, boxing, tennis and athletics articles. Pages were filled with text and a few small black and white images; later editions used a blue ink.
1919 was the first full football season since the end of the First World War and lots of newspapers were launched in this post war period, the All Sports Illustrated Weekly launched just a month before Football Bits and Topical Times.
The legendary journalist and editor James Catton started contributing articles to the All Sports after he retired from the Athletic News in August 1924 and many of them are featured in this collection. He first started writing a summer column on cricket favourites in 1925. On retirement he had moved to Wimbledon and continued to write for The Observer, The Evening Standard as well as the All Sports Illustrated Weekly. Charlie Buchan was a great admirer of James Catton’s work as a journalist. He wrote an account of the man in his autobiography, A Lifetime in Football: “When I moved my home to London towards the end of July 1925, one of the first people I met was the late Jimmy Catton, former sports editor of the Athletic News, the greatest sporting paper of all. He was working as a free-lance in London. He called at my home for an interview and I was pleased to give it to him. It was an uncomfortable business though, because he arrived just as our furniture was being carried from a removal van into the house in Mayfield Gardens, Hendon. We sat on two packing-cases in the bare room and talked. Jimmy was a little tubby fellow, not five feet in height. He was, however, the greatest writer of his day, knowledgeable, benevolent and respected by all the soccer authorities.”
James Catton died on the 21st August 1936 leaving an estate of nearly £10,000.
(Much of the above text (c) Soccerbilia website where you can also buy copies of the magazine)
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