Calling Time: Don’t Look Back In Amber (Nectar)

an1

7749 days
21 years
2 home grounds
6 owners
10 managers
4 Head Coaches
1 Temporary Football Management Consultant
4 divisions
5 promotions
3 relegations
2 Cup semis and a final
4 trips to Wembley
109 different opponents
6 overseas trips
1 forum members’ wedding
3 (at least) funerals
2 lodgings at Her Majesty’s Pleasure
1 Hull City Association Football Club

Since Amber Nectar’s inception on Saturday 21st February 1998, it’s fair to say that we’ve done a bit and seen a bit.

But sadly, it’s coming to an end this Saturday, as we’re closing our virtual tavern for the final time.

AN was conceived of in January 1998 by Les and Andy (then 21 & 16), and made its debut as a paper fanzine at Boothferry Park the following month. It wasn’t very good, but we got better over the next few years, and by the time AN #15 was on sale outside the shiny new KC Stadium in January 2003 (our only non-Boothferry Park issue) we were hopefully close to being worthy successors to such publications as Hull, Hell & Happiness, Tiger Rag, On Cloud Seven and so many more.

Times were changing as the new millennium started. By the early 2000s the internet was growing in influence as connections increasingly sprang up at home and at work, and we decided to move exclusively online in Spring 2003. This meant tarting up the website that had been an accompaniment to the paper fanzine since late 1998, and making it our sole focus.

On the online revolution went, and we submitted to the lure of social media in 2011, joining Facebook and Twitter as new outlets for cuss-filled rants as they eventually took over the online space for discussion that forums used to provide.

Times changed some more, and we hitched onto the growing trend for podcasts in 2013. We’ve done over 200, and been honoured with guest appearances from fellow City fans and a healthy smattering of ex-City players. In 2017 we were thrilled to be nominated for the Football Supporters’ Federation’s Club Podcast of the Year award. When, at the subsequent posh do in London, we heard our name read out as the winner, our first thought was that we’ve overdone the free bar. Turns out that three grouchy blokes swearing in a spare room full of City shirts can do alright.

Times will keep changing. Already, City fans who weren’t born when we started are making a name for themselves: trying new things, taking on supporters’ roles, vlogging and so on. If you’re ever wondering whether to do something, to get involved, our advice is simple: do it. You won’t regret it. And that’ll ensure there’ll always be more to come by City fans, for City fans.

Only not from us.

21 years. It’s a long time; many times longer than we gave ourselves back on late-90s Bunkers, when paper fanzines blazed brightly for a few years and then folded. They’re gruelling work, after all. The internet and its greater ease of publication gave us a long lease of life, but not a permanent one.

As we pondered during a 20th anniversary rumination last year, we now have partners, kids, mortgages and grey hairs instead of youthful exuberance and an abundance of free time. We’re all just either side of 40 now. Fanzines, websites, podcasts, perhaps it’s all a young person’s game, and while young people aren’t welcome at City any more, they’ll always find a way of creeping in and making themselves heard.

We were around for a pretty remarkable period in City’s history, and as we looked back on our life and times last year, we’re proud of what we did. www.ambernectar.org offers, in our plainly biased view, just about the most comprehensive trove of fans’ views from this period. To help future City historians, the idly nostalgic or even the club themselves when they remember that history is a source of pride rather than shame, we plan to cease updating the site, but leave it online for as long as possible. That’ll cost: around £40 a month, which we plan to meet ourselves. One very last time though, if you fancy chucking in a few quid to keep our collective record of those years online and accessible to all, we’d be very grateful – you can do it HERE.

There are simply too many people for us to thank over the past two decades, and any attempt would be inevitably and unfairly inadequate. We’ll try a few though: our families, who tolerated this nonsense with remarkable forbearance. Steve Broadbent, indefatigable tech god for twenty years. JR, for TigerTube, occasional podcast appearances and pre-match games of darts. And…oh, you all know if you helped, whether it was selling or buying the paper fanzine, contributing online, writing something for us, chucking a fiver into the semi-regular appeals we’d make to keep us unfranchised and ad-free (and thus truly independent), arguing with us on Twitter, drinking with us at home, away and overseas – there’ll be hundreds and hundreds of people with whom we had contact great or small, and sincere thanks to you all.

We’re going to have one final podcast this Friday, a massively self-indulgent look back at the last 21 years. It’ll be broadcast live on Periscope at 7pm, and we’d love your company one last time.

Then, as we hope befits the way we always did things, we’re off to the pub – The Avenue, on Chanterlands Avenue, for around 8.30pm, and maybe even a curry and Piper, if our old bones are willing. Come drink with us, and talk about the past, present and future of one of the loves of all of our lives: the Hull City Association Football Club.

It’s been bloody brilliant fun. Cheers.

Les, Andy & Matt
Amber Nectar, the Hull City fanzine (1998-2019)

34 replies
  1. Phil Ascough
    Phil Ascough says:

    Working away, just woken up and gobsmacked by this. Nothing to say really but thanks and you’ll be missed. Insight, rants, balance even when the club hasn’t deserved it, entertainment, outright hilarity, probably a few cock-ups. Maybe too soon to start talking about The Great Big Bumper Book of Amber Nectar? Thanks. You’ll be missed.

  2. Bryne Stothard
    Bryne Stothard says:

    What the f*uck? Will you reopen for business when the Allams are gone? Thanks for all the great work… and I think you are making a terrible mistake.

  3. Matt Gregson
    Matt Gregson says:

    I’m welling up lads.
    Thanks for the ride.
    So much fun and big thanks to Les for responding to emails on the day and after the day of the PO Final in 2008. Lost my Dad 7 weeks ago: he was a huge fan of City and AN – perhaps somewhat fitting; Dad goes, you call time.
    Thank you – just donated (for the first month subscription) by way as a small thank you.
    City till we die eh lads 👏👊

  4. Chris Stern
    Chris Stern says:

    Thanks for everything, you’ve been brilliant. . If I lived in or near Hull I’d come to the pub for sure. Sadly I don’t. So I’ll raise a glass in absence.

  5. Shuffle
    Shuffle says:

    You’ve been a hugely important link to City since I emigrated to Australia in 2002.

    Thanks for all the amazing stories, excellent writing and heated discussion. Life will be a little emptier going forward.

  6. Steady Tiger
    Steady Tiger says:

    Really appreciate.all the work you guys have done over the last few amazing years. The writing has always been insightful and heart-felt. The “Soul of Hull City” articles were inspired and show the true-madness of belonging to the Tiger Nation.

    Be very proud of what you’ve achieved and the legacy you leave – good luck in the future and thanks again

  7. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    Enjoy your retirement, you’ll be sorely missed.

    It’s a shame you went out while the club was still under Allam ownership. These are dark days at City.

  8. Cumbrian Tiger
    Cumbrian Tiger says:

    Monday mornings just won’t be the same anymore!
    I’ll have to change my Monday morning routine.
    So many time you have summed up the feelings of so many of the Tiger Nation.
    I first went to Boothferry Park with my Dad in 1958 or 1959 and I remember seeing Billy Bly, Les Collinson, Paul Feasy, John McSeveney et al
    Then the wonderful Wagstaff, Chilton, Houghton, Butler days – so close to the top division then.
    I stayed loyal through the fourth division days and when Lloyd and co almost lost the club. Fish Out! still echoes on the odd occasions that I pass along Boothferry Road.

    I took my kids to watch the Tigers and one is a loyal supporter now.
    After the high heady days of the Premier League we find ourselves in steady decline – next year does not bode well with massive financial cuts and the possibility of Adkins working elsewhere.
    This season has been a roller coaster – eventually mostly upwards – but with that feeling in the pit of the stomach that there is a huge drop just round the corner.
    This was the first season since childhood when I didn’t attend a home game – I just can’t – however much I want to.
    Thank goodness it’s easy for me, and my City supporting son, to get to Preston, Bolton, Blackburn, Wigan etc.
    Thanks for all your words – clearly carefully chosen – I will miss you on Monday mornings.
    As for retirement, I found that I needed to take up something new – have you thought about a football based blog and newsletter – maybe a fanzine!
    Thanks guys!
    COYH CTID UTT

  9. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    “The Great Big Bumper Book of Amber Nectar?”

    Would be fairly simple to do on Kindle Direct Publishing, or one of its counterparts, as I’ve discovered of late. Happy to have a discussion…

    Thanks for everything guys. The paper fanzine was fantastic, as good as we’ve had at City. The forum at its liveliest was brilliant to be part of – almost like having a brand new fanzine every day – and it was way ahead of the game on calling out the Allams, among other things. The podcast is consistently funny, informative, sweary and irreverent. TWTWT is essential reading. You’ve written your names large into Hull City’s history, and for that you should be very proud. I know I wouldn’t have come close to releasing my book had I not been kindly given an outlet on AN for my Hull City writing. I know that I was given valuable lessons in writing about City through the schoolings I received on the forum – as everyone did when they were talking shit. They were important lessons, for which I’m very grateful.

    The Amber Nectar community will live on. I met Westy in the flesh for the first time ever on Saturday night. It was lovely. We were able to greet each other like old friends, in spite of the fact that neither of us have posted on the forum for the best part of a couple of years. The positive aspects of what you guys have done will live on for years.

    I won’t be able to make Friday, but I’ll be raising a glass to you. Thanks for everything. You’ve been fantastic.

    Richard Gardham/Officer Crabtree

  10. Kirk Burton
    Kirk Burton says:

    Gutted to hear it. As a City fan living in Aberdeen, your site has been the best place for me to keep up to do date with what’s been happening on and off the pitch for years. Your writings have always been filled with honesty, passion and humour and I’ll really miss reading your thoughts and reports. Thanks for all the time you’ve given to this, you make me proud to be a City fan.

  11. Rich
    Rich says:

    Gutted, saddened, even slightly annoyed that you’ve taken this decision.

    You’ve been the only outlet of supporting City that I can relate to in the past few years. Losing you guys feels like another nail in the coffin.

    Thank you for bringing passion, normality and humour to supporting our club.

  12. Rottenborough
    Rottenborough says:

    I’m gobsmacked.Gutted. Grumbling like fuck to anyone who’ll listen.

    WhatamIgonnadonow?

    I’ll miss everything about AN and I echo everything said by all the posters above. Thanks for all your efforts, insight, wit and plain speaking. Amongst all the shit thrown out by the Allams you’ve been a breath of fresh air.

  13. Cayman Tiger
    Cayman Tiger says:

    You selfish cunts.

    Many above have summed up my feelings. AN has been an important part of my life for the past 20+ years, especially given I live overseas. I don’t care how sad that may sound, but you have been a continuously bright light in the life of supporting Hull City Association Football Club.

    Shame the Forum died a death as it was sometimes brilliant on a variety of topics, but I am thankful for that and everything else.

    Take part of my about to be made donation and buy yourselves a pint Friday night, enjoy.

    Gutted. Cheers lads and thanks for all the memories.

    CTID.

    Fuck off Allams.

    Cayman Tiger

  14. GlassHalfHull
    GlassHalfHull says:

    What a shame for us, but the best of luck to all at AN! I’d like to echo all the praise elsewhere for the fantastic work you’ve put in over the years. As an expat when the internet was in its infancy it was fantastic to discover the outpourings of other City fans, and having really enjoyed AN, CI and Not606 etc, the TWTWTW posts are my regular Monday workday break highlight. My kids have grown up in an exciting era for City and they’re both happy to call themselves City fans. Long may the city family continue, be it in the pub, at the game or on social media – or whatever new outlet we find to supplement 90 minutes standing in the cold watching 22 men boot each other and a sack of wind around a field.

  15. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    Yes, gutted sums it up alright. AM will be sorely missed, thanks for the ride guys!

  16. Bosco
    Bosco says:

    Gutted.

    I discovered the website around 2012 and was hooked immediately. For someone living in London, it was like uncovering a treasure trove of information about City. The match reports and articles were first rate and the forums hilarious, well written and very funny. It was sad that Twitter seemed to contribute to the demise of the forums. Recently I found myself re-reading the thread about falling in love with City – ace stuff.

    TWTWT was my must read on the tube on the way to work and then the podcasts were also brilliant on my journey home. Also a big thank you also for your assistance re CTID and fighting the name change.

    I was lucky enough to see City play in Lokeren, via Andy posting about a spare ticket, and me grabbing a cheeky look at the website whilst at work.

    I’d be curious to know a bit more about the other contributors on the final podcast, it seemed like you all knew each other from school. Interesting to see who Officer Crabtree is – I’m ordering the book.

    Anyway, a massive thank you, AN has been my favourite website and provided many happy hours of enjoyment, laugher and happy City memories. Best wishes for the future.

    City!

  17. WSM
    WSM says:

    Oh dear, I didn’t see that coming. And that was such a great podcast – it’s left me quite emotional. Thanks for being such great interpreters and commentators of all things Hull City. I truly will miss you.

  18. TP
    TP says:

    What am I going to listen to on my commute to work on Wednesday mornings? Living in Australia the podcast was one of the better ways of keeping up with the goings on at HCAFC. Seriously thank you for your informative and irreverent way of providing up to date news and opinions and the entertainment that went with it. You will be sorely missed.

    Allams Out!

  19. RichC6
    RichC6 says:

    Thanks for Amber Nectar chaps. I discovered it around 2007 after being convinced everything about City, and indeed football, on the internet was written by know nowt meffs. It’s not faint praise to say that you changed that perception completely. I know things change but the podcast and TWTWT were weekly essentials right through to the end.
    Thanks again.
    CTID.
    Allam Out.

    Rich Cundill

  20. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    For any old forum users, let’s have one last thread. See City forum…

  21. Scunnytiger
    Scunnytiger says:

    Gutted is an understatement, TWTWT made my Mondays bearable. Thanks for the years of proper Hull City AFC reporting by proper fans.
    Gutted

  22. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Well now…bit of a surprise!! However, I do understand where you’re coming from on this. As others have said, we ex pats…I live in County Durham…will miss the regular Hull City fix, and moreover the ability to post an opinion on players and the general goings on. This at a time when the goings on this summer are rather worrying!…again! That leaves me nowhere to post my deranged City opinions. Please don’t suggest the HDM…a site which you can barely read! How the hell a newspaper can have such a poor website…well…?? Then there’s Not606. Well I’m not part of the clique there, and the number of posts there are dropping.
    Just had a site I used to post political comment on stop allowing posts…now this. Guess the garden will get more attention now…
    Enjoy retirement. UTT again…eventually.

  23. Bill Baxter
    Bill Baxter says:

    About time you cunts retired, I might get some work done now!
    I dread to think of how many work hours I’ve spent reading & commenting on Amber Nectar.

    I think I once asked how you guys found the time to do it all but like many others glad you did & it’s all been very much appreciated over the years.

    Does beg the question now though:-
    Who the fuck are we going to trust now when the lies & shit continues to spill out from the club?

    A massive influence amongst City fans & I bet the Allams are glad to see the back of you.

    Many, many thanks guys & good luck in whatever you do in the future.
    Will all seem a bit strange without you.

    CTID

    Bill Baxter

  24. Ann Guy
    Ann Guy says:

    So sad that you have decided to retire AN. Grateful thanks for providing the most truthful and informative narrative during some of City’s most spectacular years. You will be sorely missed by City fans and are to be commended for your humour, during recent adversity, intelligence and dignity. I wish you well.

  25. Steve F
    Steve F says:

    You guys have been great and I will
    Miss the podcast in particular big time, Thanks for all your efforts.

  26. Mike Hogan
    Mike Hogan says:

    Genuinely sorry to hear that you’re calling time on Amber Nectar, but its an understandable decision. It must be a hell of a time commitment!

    AN has been my go-to resource for City fan-centric info for around 10 years. I read every TWTWT, and listen to every podcast, and I find you guys to be well aligned with my personal City opinions and views.

    Good luck with everything in the future!

  27. Cheshire Tiger
    Cheshire Tiger says:

    Sorry to see you go, but good luck in future endeavours. I’ve been reading this forum on my global travels for a long time and occasionally post went I felt I had a strong opinion. I shall miss it dearly. Thanks for the years of memorable reading guys.

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