Already this year we’ve had Tony Mowbray mark 150 games in charge of Rovers, Ryan Nyambe reach 100 league appearances for the club, while Adam Armstrong is one away from 50 career league goals. But there’s a Rovers milestone of a different kind this month as fanzine 4,000 Holes celebrates its 100th issue.

‘A northern horde of uncouth garb and strange oaths’ was how the Pall Mall Gazette described the Rovers’ fans arrival for the 1884 FA Cup, that phrase appearing on the front cover of every issue.

The name derives from The Beatles 1967 hit ‘A Day In The Life’ which included the line ‘4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire. Though the holes are rather small, they had to count them all’ and has been the name of the fanzine since its inception over a quarter of a century later.

With fans now privy to social media and messageboards, offering the chance for instant thoughts while the game is still going on, in the late 1980s it was more a case of a chat around a table in the pub.

And so came the idea to produce the fanzine, providing fans with a unique opportunity to offer their opinions to a wider audience. And unsurprisingly, the idea was born out of frustration towards a refereeing performance (some things never change) with the first ever edition coming in the wake of Rovers’ play-off semi-final loss to Crystal Palace in 1989 as they let a 3-1 first leg advantage slip.

Seamus Heffernan, who came up with the name and edited the fanzine for the first season, and David Metcalfe launched 4,000 Holes, with Brendan Searson also part of the original team and would go on to a long-time editor.

“In the 1980s the whole fanzine thing was really starting to take off,” says current editor Scott Sumner. “I think ‘The City Gent’ at Bradford City was one of the first in 1984.

“So it was only a matter of time before people got together and do one for Rovers and it gave people an outlet to express their feelings on whatever aspect of the club they wanted.”

There were seven editions in its debut year, with up to five produced every season until 2000.

Issue 50 came just the after the passing of Jack Walker, with issue 86 produced in 2013 when it took something of a hiatus. But 4,000 Holes was born again after the club’s relegation to League One in May 2017 and centred around the burial of the coffin tradition in Bamber Bridge that dates back to the 1940s.

‘Buried’ read the headline, with a sub-deck of ‘Raised’ as the fanzine came back in to circulation.

“A lot of people who bought it in the early days comment on how it is like they remembered,” added Scott, who took over the role as editor from former Lancashire Telegraph reporter Dan Clough.

“The challenge is to get the younger fans, the internet generation, on board as well.

“People say it’s just as good as they remember it, they enjoy the tradition of picking one up before a game.

“We now do five issues a season and work around when there are several home games within the space.

“We have to be topical, but also adaptable, and it’s about finding that point of difference.”

On how the planning process comes together, Scott explained: “At the start of the season I will go through the fixtures and base it around the home matches when an issue will come out.

“I will put something out on Twitter, or email, asking for contributions from fans before the deadline and we probably have around 15 people who will send things in.

“It’s then a case of putting the issue together, but we have so many good writers who get what a fanzine is supposed to be that it makes it a lot easier.

“I chip in when I feel I have something to contribute and it’s just a case of doing it when I get chance.

“It does take a lot of time and hard work but it is very rewarding and people do enjoy having something to take away from a game in their hand.”

Around 140 people have signed up for the online subscription for the season, with issues distributed as far as America, Australia and Canada.

“This is about giving back in to the club, we are a Blackburn Rovers fanzine produced by people who support the club and while we challenge the club on certain things, as fans we want the best for the club,” Scott added.

The 100th issue takes a trip down memory lane, speaking to contributors and the founders of the fanzine, as well as looking at the ups and downs of Rovers in its unique satirical way.

For more information, or to contribute, email, or to purchase online visit

Issues will also be on sale at home games throughout February.