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A familar face on the line! This season, 2016/17, The Football Traveller celebrates its 30th year of publication. Bill Berry, founder of the magazine and editor for 27 season, decided to retire and Chris Bedford has taken over from him.

Back in the mid-eighties, there was a need for accurate weekly booklet which provided non-league football fixtures from the GM Vauxhall Conference down through the feeder leagues to county senior leagues. Monthly and fortnightly publications were useful for advance planning but fixtures were changed or cancelled after lists were issued. So the 'Non-League Traveller' was first published in August 1987. The immediate impact was tremendous in that first season and the ever-growing number of subscribers in those early days meant that each issue was virtually sold out!

In the early days of 'NLT' or 'Traveller', as it became affectionately known, it provided fixtures from around forty different leagues in England and Wales, as well as plenty of cup competitions. There was also news, club features, and a regular column from Mick Burt who recalled his own personal travels watching football around the country. A chance meeting with Steve Hardy at the unlikely location of DRG FC in Gloucestershire saw the introduction of a programme reviews section. NLT was a great success as subscribers increased and so did the number of correspondents providing news, club features and unusual fixtures. More and more leagues were featured as the magazine expanded to cover Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This successful formula has, by and large, been retained ever since with Tewkesbury-based Fleet Graphics providing the printing.

The design of the cover changed for the magazine’s fourth season, with a ground photo gracing the front and back cover – Darlaston Town FC had the honour of being the subject of the first cover photo. Pocket-sized club directories were also introduced in the early days. After eleven seasons as the ‘Non-League Traveller', the name of the magazine was changed to 'The Football Traveller' in 1998.