The founder of the Crystal Palace fanzine Five Year Plan has spoken of his pride at how a simple A Level project evolved into something much greater.
James Daly, who founded the fanzine in 2003, was a teenager studying Communication Studies at the then named West Kent College in Tonbridge, when he was told to make a project for the course.
As a massive Crystal Palace fan, he decided to create his own fanzine, which he named after former chairman Mark Goldberg’s ill-fated plan to improve the Eagles’ fortunes in 1998.
Now, 11 years and 40 issues later the fanzine is often a staple of the pre-match literature, with its latest issue selling more than 600 copies outside Selhurst Park.
Moreover, the fanzine website hit count topped more than 800,000 in the past year. Daly, from Streatham, said: “As a kid I was obsessed with the fanzines at Selhurst, such as Palace Echo and in particular One More Point.
“I penned badly written articles for OMP, which I think were published more out of sympathy than anything.
“When I got to college I singled out Communication Studies as a doss class, but for an A Level project I created my own fanzine, which I sold at Selhurst for a pound.
“We sold something like 400 copies.”
Because he was unhappy with its aesthetics, the FYP has undergone two major makeovers since it was founded.
In 2008, the 30-year-old realised he needed help producing the magazine so assisted by friends Rob Sutherland and Andy Street, as well as brother and photographer Seb Daly and later Matt Woosnam and Jesse Boyce, he set about improving its content and aesthetics, and it branched out into the emerging digital world.
Palace quartet (from left to right): James Daly, Rob Sutherland, Andy Street and Matt Woosnam are the team behind the Five Year Plan fanzine
“The first issue of the magazine was sold at Selhurst in October 2003, but it A4 size and terrible in layout, content and aesthetics,” he said.
“At the end of the season Palace were promoted and FYP also upped its game changing to A5 and getting punchier and funnier.
“It has gone from strength to strength, conveniently as I've had less to do with it, and it has attracted some wonderful writers and editors the likes of which now run it.”
He added: “With the burgeoning internet and social media platforms, FYP delved into the world of websites and Twitter.
“It had to, and now it has cultivated thousands of engaging, funny followers and millions of page views.
“I'm super proud of it.”