What’s inside The Big Issue’s special edition Southampton FC match programme?

Saints hitman Charlie Austin, St Mary's legends Lawrie McMenemy and Francis Benali, messages from boss Mauricio Pellegrino and captain Steve Davis – and lots more.

This week, a first-of-its-kind magazine is on sale in Southampton and across the local Hampshire region. Created in partnership between The Big Issue and Southampton FC, the special edition publication will be available to purchase from Big Issue vendors, and sold as the Premier League club’s official match-day programme in the season opener against Swansea City at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.

The Big Issue special Southampton FC match-day edition
This special edition of The Big Issue was sold across Southampton and Hampshire, and at St Mary's Stadium on match-day

Inside the magazine…

  • Charlie Austin looks forward to the new campaign after seeing a promising season last term harshly curtailed by a five-month injury lay-off. The Southampton goal machine had racked up healthy return of nine goals before dislocating his shoulder last December and missed February’s EFL Cup Final defeat to Manchester United as a result. Austin insists he wants to hit the ground running and re-ignite his goalscoring exploits under the tutelage of new Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino.
  • Legendary Saints’ FA Cup-winning former manager Lawrie McMenemy takes a nostalgic look back through his life and career in his Letter To My Younger Self. The 81-year-old reveals how he almost joined Manchester United, names Kevin Keegan his all-time best signing. It’s a candid, fascinating conversation, and another golden instalment to our unmissable archive of Letter To My Younger Self interviews.
  • St Mary’s hero Francis Benali looks ahead to the new league season. The former defender, who made more than 300 Saints appearances, also offers an insight into his extensive charity work.
  • Read more about the everyday life-changing work of the Saints Foundation. Like The Big Issue, the Foundation helps to give both young and old in society a helping hand. Explore how the club’s official charity has helped transform the lives of three men who had fallen on hard times, and discover how the charity’s Youth Inclusion and Generation Gains programmes impact the local community. The work of the Saints Foundation is also felt globally: find out about the organisation’s link-up with Mary’s Meals, a charity that provides school dinners to deprived children all over the world.

There is, as you’ll see below, much more inside. Don’t miss it.

If you can’t reach a Big Issue vendor this week, you can get your hands on a copy from The Big Issue Shop.