How Pele taught me to be the Editor of FourFourTwo

For me, January 2013 will mark a professional milestone. It will be three years since I became the editor of FourFourTwo magazine – essentially, an anniversary of the proudest day of my working life. In those three years, I’ve been consistently amazed and pleased in equal measure at watching doors open when I start conversations with the phrase, “Hello, my name’s David and I work for FourFourTwo magazine.” FourFourTwo is respected in the world of football – that’s what 18 years of covering the game like us does for you.

Sadly, I have a confession to make. About six months into my tenure, my excitement bubbled over. I was offered a significant amount of face-to-face interview time with Pele. The Pele. Rather unprofessionally, I became extremely giddy at the thought of landing this exclusive with an undisputed legend of the football world. In hindsight, I put my reaction down to only being in the job a short time... and the fact it was Pele. I mentioned that, didn’t I?

The giddiness continued right up to and beyond me writing my editor’s letter, which reported aforementioned giddiness back to our loyal readers. On publication, an elder statesman in the FourFourTwo world read my letter before pulling me to one side for a quiet word. Access like this is what we expect here at FourFourTwo, I was told. It’s what our readers expect. It’s what the football world expects. And, to be frank, pull yourself together, you wally!

"Now if you put that headline up there, Dave...""EEEEEEEEE!!!!! PELE!!!!!"

Now, as that three–year anniversary appears on the horizon, I understand exactly where that elder statesman was coming from. In the past 12 months alone, we’ve managed to speak to some top names in football purely because of who we are. Put simply, when the legends of the game speak, they speak to FourFourTwo. The contents pages of the issues we’ve published during our 18-year history read like a Who’s Who of the beautiful game. This is going to sound like a brag, but the truth is no other publication in the world comes close.

We decided it was time to celebrate this history by gathering together a collection of our biggest interviews into one bumper mag, which we've called FourFourTwo Legends: The Interviews. We picked the interviews from our famous One-on-One slot – where the readers choose the questions – and it was a lot of fun re-visiting the lengthy chats we’d had with Maradona, Beckenbauer, Pele, Eusebio, Platini… I’m just showing off now, right?

You’ll probably see this on a newsstand near you in the lead-up to Christmas. It would make a great stocking filler for any football fan. Or you could just treat yourself. I keep one right here on my desk… just to remind me, should that giddiness rise again.

Like a footballing Advent calendar, we will be giving away a copy of FourFourTwo Legends: The Interviews every day from December 1st to 24th on our Competitions page. The magazine is available digitally via Zinio and physically in most newsagents, especially WH Smith and Tesco.