Dan photographed by Flora Maclean

Dan photographed by Flora Maclean

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Dan Sandison

In partnership with COS

Founder & editor-in-chief of Mundial Magazine

Dan Sandison is editor-in-chief of Mundial: an enthusiastic, friendly alternative football publication which, in its five years of existence, has grown an annual readership of over 100,000. Mundial’s ability to see football through the lens of cultural references: people, clothing, music, tradition, has lead to it accruing dedicated readers and followers who don’t necessarily even follow football, they just want to read the magazine. For Dan, he’s managed to achieve that rare golden egg: a job combining his two passions in writing and football. “The reason I love football,” Dan explains. “Is because I’m a very sentimental person and it reminds me of my family, it’s always been a huge part of my life.”

A huge part of talking about football is the clothes: even the white shirt. “I think I always associated the white shirt with special occasions: Weddings, my first holy communion and, in footballing terms, it always meant cup final day,” Dan says. “Seeing footballers in their shirts and ties for the FA Cup final was always something really special, and meant you were on the brink of summer. It brought a sense of occasion to it.” Interestingly, Dan wouldn’t wear a football shirt. “From where me and my friends we grew up, that’s not something we do, it’s quite an old-fashioned thing,” he explains. “Growing up around people who go to the match week in week out, the last thing they want to do is identify themselves as a Liverpool or an Everton fan.” That said, Dan is very interested in the idea of a uniform underpinning subculture, including in football. “I see football clubs as a cornerstone of the community…we don’t unite over many things anymore, but football is that one constant where people can come together and unite at the end of the week.”

You get the feeling that whatever you asked Dan about, he’d be able to relate it back to football in some way. When asked about the white shirt’s cultural significance in the sport, Dan instantly spoke about legendary manager Brian Clough and his idea to make teams travel in well-tailored suits rather than tracksuits to alter the public’s impression of them, and to boost their self-esteem. “In big games like the cup final you always see a football team in a suit and I really like that, probably because I’m sentimental,” Dan admits. “Some of the photos of the teams from the 60s and 70s are incredible, but there's also something really alien about it: you’re used to seeing these players in shorts, socks and a football shirt, but seeing them changing into a shirt humanises them.”

When you speak to Dan, you can almost hear the excitement fizzing from him as he talks about the history of subcultures surrounding football, particularly the growing interest in women’s games. “The women’s World Cup this summer is going to be the crux of that and light the touch paper for it to be accepted widespread rather than it being an industry thing,” he says. “From our perspective it would be very easy to say, ‘We love women’s football, we’ve always covered it and we’ve always had it in the magazine!’ But what needs to happen is people who don’t pick up magazines and blogs to believe it’s an accepted part of the game. Hopefully four weeks of coverage on national television this summer will allow for that acceptance to filter down to the grass roots.”

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All photography by Flora Maclean