Cyber-crime: The dark side of the internet

Cyber-crime Photo:

Cyber-crime Photo:


Recently two teenagers have been questioned by police in relation to a cyber-attack on communication company Talk Talk. It seems unbelievable to think that young people would be able hack the private data of such a high profile company.

We now live in a unique era where children and young people are growing up as digital natives, where the realms of social media and the internet are familiar to them and the whole world is at their fingertips.

While most would agree that the internet is a wonderful resource, it brings with it a much murkier side. Facebook alone have 1.19 billion monthly active users and is just one social media platform amongst many. As the internet is a constantly evolving medium, it is incredibly hard to legislate and monitor. Hardly a day goes by without a news story about internet trolling, data theft or account hacking.

The Telegraph recently reported that new police figures show that 16,000 alleged crimes involving Facebook and Twitter were reported to them in the past year.

So how does this surge in internet crime affect students? We spoke to two Teesside University Students about their different experiences of cyber-crime.

Melissa Major, 20  was a victim of cyber bullying.

She told us: “I started working in a kebab shop when I was 14 and a group of boys started making up things and saying that I was doing dirty, sexual things when I was at work which is utterly untrue. They would attack me online calling me names and making up pictures with my face on. This led to my friends then taking the mick out of me.”

Melissa explained that the online abuse was happening every day and it made her feel isolated and alone.

When asked if she knew what to do about it she said: “Not really. I didn’t want to be branded as a grass.” She didn’t think about whether or not what they were doing was illegal. Melissa didn’t speak to the police about it and went to her mum and sister for support.

So how can you stop it happening? Melissa said: “It finally stopped when I learnt to ignore them.”

Her advice for anyone who is a victim of online bullying is: “Talk to someone you can trust, try not to let it get to you even though it is hard but it’s the best way to make them stop. They get bored thinking you don’t get annoyed by it.”

Whilst many people may not realise it, online bullying can be a crime under lots of different laws, as this information from Kent Police shows. “There is not a specific law which makes cyberbullying illegal but it can be considered a criminal offence under several different acts including Protection from Harassment Act (1997), Malicious Communications Act (1988), Communications Act (2003) Obscene Publications Act (1959) and Computer Misuse Act (1990).”

Cyberbullying | Kent Police

Rob Sedgwick, 21, is also a Teesside University student and lost money after his PlayStation account was hacked.

He said: “A load of accounts were hacked, including my own. My account details for that were the same as for my Playstation account, which had my card details attached to it. The thief then spent £250 of my own money on my own Playstation account, and on Autotrader.”

He first found out that his account had been hacked when he logged into his banking app and notice a £50.00 transaction that he didn’t recognise.

Rob said : “I was shocked, and panicked. I had just been paid and that money was basically to keep me afloat. I had around £10 left in my account when the money was stolen. I also felt kind of violated, and a bit stupid.

“I think, apart from actually losing the money that one of the worst parts comes from not knowing if they caught whoever stole my details. They could still be out there, doing the same thing.

“My bank and their fraud department were really useful, and understood my situation entirely. Playstation were able to refund the money spent back to my PlayStation account, but not to my bank account.”

His advice to anyone who finds themselves a victim of online fraud would be: “Make sure to use different passwords and use secure payment methods like PayPal, rather than leaving your bank account open to hackers.”

If you are concerned about cyber-crime or would like more information and advice please see the Cleveland Police Cyber-crime section of their website.

Melissa Major was a victim of cyber bullying

Melissa Major was a victim of cyber bullying


Cyber Bullying_mixdown 1

from Tside

Has traditional dating had its day?


Kay and Andy met via dating site

Kay and Andy met via dating site

You are a busy working woman and you find yourself single. As fun as it is, you are totally ready for a Disney-style happy ending and want to find ‘the one’ …..or at least have a good laugh trying.

So where to start? A decade ago it would have been a trip to your local pub on a Friday night and months of ‘frog kissing’ to whittle the selection of local eligible bachelors down, until you meet your match.

But surely in the digital age it should be easier than that, right? Of course. Now you can filter hundreds of single people looking for love by location, age, appearance, job and even by their favourite food if you so wish, in order to meet Mr or Mrs right.

And the best bit? You can do it all from the comfort of your own home and avoid all (or at least some) of the awkward confrontations involved.

Kay Richardson is a 31-year-old, who met her current partner Andy through online dating site

“I thought I’d meet someone but to be honest I thought they’d be a total moron – I didn’t have any expectations. I only used because I had heard that it had more people on it and my friend said it was a good idea. I gave her my phone and she went through the list and ‘winked’ at people that she liked,” Kay said.

“I think you go through and you are really judgemental and you look at peoples photos and make a snap decision based on that. It’s about looks first. Then I think it was probably filtered by height because I didn’t want anyone under 5 ft 8. You can filter by hair colour or build or whatever you want really. Then I would read the profile description and see if I liked the sound of that. But if it wasn’t well written, then that’s a real put off.”

Asked if she had encountered any problems with people online Kay told me: “There was a guy who was a bit odd and full on, so I stopped messaging him but other than that there wasn’t anyone who wasn’t nice.

“I think more people are using online dating as it is more convenient. You can sit on a week-day night and go on your online dating. You can be on it seven days a week at any time. It’s good for impatient people!

“I think I probably had actual conversations with three or four people but there were some bad comments and ‘persistent winkers’ ( encourages users to wink at profiles they like to attract attention in a similar way to liking on Facebook).

When I asked if she thinks people are honest on their dating profiles Kay explained: “I think a lot of people are probably not honest on their online profile. I know of people who have used other people’s photos on their page.

“I embellished things and you withhold things that you don’t want people to know. There are certain things that you need to get past the first meeting before you tell them that. Then if it is going to go anywhere they will accept it.”

Kay and Andy both admitted that they had not disclosed things or had told what they thought of as small lies on their profiles.

Kay says: “I told my family I was on a dating site but there wasn’t the intention of meeting someone necessarily. I was doing it and if it ended horrifically then it was just a laugh. I think people are getting better about it and I do know of some weddings.”

Surely it must be cringe worthy when it comes to actually meeting someone who you have only met online? The date was clearly a huge success as they are still together years later, but how did it feel to meet for the first time?

Kay says: “I think I had an idea of what he was going to be like and I watched him as he walked into the pub where we were meeting. I had to check in with my family and friends to make sure I was ok. Both of us had things that we had concealed and we got them all out on the first day.”

So embellishment of the truth and the odd weird person aside, it seems dating is the way forward for young people looking for love. The online dating industry is now estimated to be worth more than £2 billion globally and there are approximately 1400 dating sites in the UK alone, with no sign of demand slowing down.

If you are thinking of giving online dating a go, this article from Marie Claire gives the lowdown on how to make your profile stand out.

Check out our top 5 tips for online dating.




from Tside

Growing up in the post Troubles generation.

While decades of the Troubles blighted the lives of people in Northern Ireland, the IRA calling a halt to its campaign of violence 21 years ago signalled a move to a more peaceful society.

But what was life like for those who grew up in the peace process?

By August 31, 1994, when the IRA announced a ceasefire, 3,517 people had died in the Troubles. This day, 21 years ago, was an historic one for the people of Northern Ireland, many of whom had lost loved ones in terrorist bomb attacks or shootings. And just a few weeks later, on October 13, the Combined Loyalist Military Command announced a cessation to what they called their “operational hostilities.”

During the first eight months of 1994, 65 people had died in the conflict in Northern Ireland, three of them deaths were members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

The Horrible toll also included the deaths of six innocent Catholics who were shot dead whilst watching a watching a World Cup game in Loughinisland.
While all this was going on, behind the scenes political pieces were being put in place to allow a very fragile peace to take hold.

On the streets of Belfast and Londonderry there were still bomb scares, police checkpoints and civilians were still being searched but these started to ebb away.

Undoubtedly, many say the peace has not been perfect, yet despite this for those born from 1994 onwards things in Northern Ireland have changed significantly.

But for those who grew up in the peace process how has that had an impact on life?


” I have never felt threatened.” those were the strong words of 19 year old Kristyn Higginson, who grew up in Dundonald East Belfast right next to the loyalist heartland of the Ballybeen estate.

Who would have thought that those words could come out of the mouth of someone who lives in Northern Ireland.

Having been interested in Northern Irish history I spoke to Kristyn to find Out what it was like for her growing up in Northern Ireland.

While many people in Ulster remember the sounds of petrol bombs hitting RUC vans and Bombs tearing through the streets of Belfast and Londonderry Kristyn talks about her first memory as a five year old at Christmas saying: It was Christmas and it was very snowy, the street was always quite calm and nice. Everyone was quite happy.”

While The Troubles also affected those socially, with communities split into the Republican/Catholic and Loyalist/Protestant and many people feeling anxious and even fearing to walk down certain streets Kristyn speaks of going on Nights out and meeting friends that come from different backgrounds with religion and politics not even mattering when making friends or socialising.

Many teenagers in Northern Ireland were brought up in a politically motivated sectarian hotbed were violence based on religion was common place.

Teenagers in Ulster were often drawn into the conflict by joining violent paramilitary groups to carry out Sectarian killings in organisations such as the IRA and the UDA.
Things couldn’t have been more different for Kristyn, having excelled in GCSE’s at Regent House Grammar School she stayed on to do A-Levels in Theatre Studies, Geography and English Literature.

However there is still strong implications that could lead to trouble in Ulster as Kristyn say’s when she was growing saying “you knew who certain people were (paramilitaries) and what not to say.”

For many years and still to this day the 12th of July a day when Protestants celebrate the victory of Protestant King William over the Catholic King James remains a boiling point in Northern Ireland.
Violence has flared in Recent years at Orange Order parades at Drumcree and Ardoyne and has led both routes being declared off limits for the Orange Order.

What is most shocking is Kristyn’s view on the annual events on the 11th and 12th saying astonishingly she could “take it or leave it” and that she sees the celebration as more of a social event rather than anything else.


One cannot say that life in Belfast and Londonderry and in the other towns across Ulster has changed Dramatically. Decisions in Northern Ireland are now made by Arguments and Debates in Stormont Rather than the Bombing of remembrance day parades or The shooting of an innocent catholic. Having been to Belfast during marching season id say its unlike any other place in Britain.

Never have I ever been stopped by at an armed police checkpoint while in a taxi en route to a nightclub. Never have I ever seen masked men with guns on the walls of council estate houses, and never have I felt like I’ve needed to keep my political views quietly to myself. But the same streets I was waking down as an English Man were getting bombed just twenty years ago.

Going down the Shankill and the Falls road was unthinkable not long ago and there I was with twenty other people on a tour bus in the peak of marching season.

The tension still exists and the peace walls still stand, but no one can deny that what Northern Ireland is today a modern, unique and culturally vibrant city that the feature holds so much for.




























from Tside

Hideo Kojima wasn’t allowed to go the video game awards

On December 3rd, the game Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain won Best Action Adventure at the video game awards. Kiefer Sutherland picked up the trophy on behalf of Hideo Kojima, the games creator. Then the host Geoff Keighley said “Mr. Kojima had every intention of being with us tonight, but unfortunately he was informed by a lawyer representing Konami that he would not be allowed to travel to tonight’s award ceremony to accept any awards” Keighley was met with booing, in response to what Konami has allegedly done.

This is the most recent event surrounding the year long controversy surrounding Konami and Kojima.

This started on March 19th 2015 when Kojima’s name and the Kojima productions logo were being pulled off of Konami’s website and any other related marketing material. Konami released a statement saying Kojima productions was being renamed Konami digital entertainment. Shortly afterwards, it was revealed that Hideo Kojima and Konami will no longer be working together.

On March 31st, the Kojima productions logo was removed from the Silent Hills website, according to the publisher Konami, “this is all part of the rebranding efforts.” Silent Hills was the other big game title which Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro were working on.

There was also some issues involving Konami deciding whether or not Kojima and his company should be on the Metal Gear products, as part of the “Rebranding efforts” Konami at many stages of the development of the game, removed Kojima’s name from Metal Gear projects and then replaced them on certain products.

The demo for Silent Hills, called P.T. was removed from the playstation store on the 25th of April. On April 27th Konami officially announced that Silent Hills has been cancelled and then Konami removed itself from the New York Stock Exchange. They said that the removal from the stock exchange was because it was “no longer economically justifiable.”

On May 29th, Konami apologised to fans of the Silent Hills franchise and explained that it is working towards a “Mobile First” future. This means that they will be focusing more on making mobile games.Metal Gear Solid: Phantom Pain made $179 million dollars on launch day.

Kojima’s departure ceremony from Konami was on the 9th of October.

Grace Davison is a student studying Computer Character Animation and she has been a fan of the Metal Gear series since it started. She believes that Konami has made an “unwise decision when they fired Kojima” but she admits that Kojima was a very “off the wall and occasionally difficult individual.”

Grace disagrees with Konami’s decision to go focus mainly on mobile games.She said ” I feel like throwing longer running franchises that stand the test of time out, to purely focus on a bubble that could burst at any point wasn’t the best idea.” Grace believes that the mobile game industry will not last and any success it has at the moment will soon be erased.

Davison thinks that if Kojima was really not allowed to attend the awards ceremony then “That seems very controlling, especially if they had already fired him at that point. Japanese business practices are far from ours and much tougher generally, but that doesn’t excuse him from going to an awards ceremony, to possible receive an award for a game he directed, Konami do very little but publish.”

Yoichi Wada, who is a former square enix executive have his opinions surrounding the issue. Wada said “Maybe leaving the home console mark is management’s plan, but going out of your way to make enemies with the world has no meaning.”

Wada even went as far as to say “Generally this kind of thing happens when there’s a lack of leadership. I think perhaps there isn’t someone in charge who is paying attention and laying out all there little details for whole enterprise” in regards to the rumors concerning what has happened at Konami.

from Tside

Local cafe and pub help the homeless this Christmas




For most people December is a time of joy and celebration with the build up to Christmas and New Year everywhere we look. However it is not to be forgotten that this is also supposed to be the season of good will and giving.

Something that many people won’t associate with the festive period is homelessness, but it is something that is happening in Middlesbrough and it shouldn’t be ignored, especially at this time of year. A lot of people tend to turn  a blind eye to the issue of homelessness and it can be viewed as somewhat of a taboo topic.

Most of us wouldn’t even be able to begin to imagine living on the streets especially at this time of year but some organisations around the area have procedures set in place to make the cold month a little more bareable for those living it rough.


Quaint & Quirky in Stockton

Sasha Glendinning, owner of ‘Quaint and Quirky’ cafe in Stockton, is working alongside her colleagues to do everything she can to help over the festive period.

Every Wednesday and Saturday from 3.30 to 4.30 the cafe, which is located on Stockton High Street, will be giving out any leftover food from the day and also serving up hot drinks and soup to the homeless, they also have dog food for those who have pets to ensure they’re not forgotten.

Sasha said: “We see a lot of homeless people around Stockton, we have given food out to one man before and some of our customers have purchased food to give out also”

“We are hoping to carry it out into the new year”.

They are working with the Gazette and on social media to spread the word and to help as many people as possible this Christmas time.

Another person aiming to make a change to those in need this Christmas is Craig Harker from ‘The George Pub’ in Stockton.

The George is offering a free Sunday dinner from 5pm til 7pm every Sunday for the homeless and less fortunate. Craig said,: “Hopefully a good meal will help those who need it”


The George in Stockton

They will also be providing hot soup as well as tea and coffee if they run out of dinners and a pre paid meal service is also being set up where a customer can purchase a heavily discounted meal and place the pre paid note up on the notice board for someone in need to come in and have the purchased meal.

Craig said: “December is a cold time for anyone and sometimes we forget how lucky we are having friends, family and a roof over our heads at this time of year”

“There’s no better feeling than helping those who need it”

It is worth sparing a thought to those less fortunate than ourselves at Christmas time, especially when it’s so easy to get caught up in the festivities and forget there are people out there in need.

These selfless acts can make a change to someone’s Christmas this year more than any of us can even begin imagine.


from Tside

The fight for healthy eating: What are we doing to our children?

yummy-burgerAs the obsession of looking good continues to circulate in and around the media, children are being put under an immense amount of pressure from their parents to watch what they eat.

Since 1995 the Health Survey for England (HSE) has gathered information about children aged two-15 continuously to study the children’s attitudes to physical activity and obesity.

BMI (Body Mass Index) is not an accurate measurement of weight, but it is an approximation that is adjusted for age and gender.

Recent findings by the HSE state that since 1995, there has been an increase of obesity amongst children – 11% for boys and 12% for girls both aged two-15.

There was a specific weight gain between 2004-2005 when obesity spiked to an all-time high of 18% to 19% amongst both boys and girls.

There is a positive side to this knowledge for the country, the levels of obesity have dropped over the years since the dramatic increase 10 years ago.BMIChart

Coming from the perspective of someone who has been overweight the majority of their life, I can definitely say that watching what your children eat is a very important aspect in today’s world.

After a recent article about a young 23-year-old who was told she was “too big” to be a model at a size six and a BMI of 17.5, the ideal BMI being 18.5-24.9, it begs the question are we setting a good example for future generations?

With all the skinny shaming and fat shaming, people seem to have forgotten the most important part of all – being healthy.

Jessica Dixon, student

Jessica Dixon, student

Jess Dixon, 23, a Teesside University student said: “Skinny shaming against someone who is naturally thin is just as bad as fat shaming someone who is barely overweight. However, I feel like we shouldn’t be afraid to tell someone that they are dangerously under or overweight if it affects their health. I don’t see it as ‘shaming’ – it’s helping them if anything.”

Being healthy is defined as someone being in a good physical or mental condition, so it can vary between every person as no single person is the same.

As studies have proven in the past, being healthy in the body does affect how heathy the mind can be. A person who is classed as obese has a higher chance of being depressed, having social and anxiety issues as well as other mental health conditions.

So, does that mean to say that we as role models for younger generations may be mentally damaging our children and the way future generations think and eat?

Sarah Naisbitt, 38, Kitchen Assistant

Sarah Naisbitt, 38, Kitchen Assistant

Sarah Naisbett, kitchen assistant, said: “I think that younger parents these days are getting lazy when it comes to feeding their kids. Instead of preparing a meal from scratch, they give their kids convenience and fast food so they can sit in front of the TV or computer or console, rather than sit at the table and eat as a family.

“The kids at school mostly take the convenience options, rather than the home made option. They very rarely take vegetables and nine times out of ten they’ll take bread rather than potatoes. I think it’s a direct result of what parents are feeding kids at home.”

If that is the case, our laziness is not just damaging to children and risking their health, it may be affecting our own physical imagery.

As we are now in the age of digital and social media, we have become lax in our day to day lives, that’s a given.

But if we have become that lazy that we don’t consider what we are feeding our children and how we are influencing them, doesn’t that mean we are self-destructing as a race?

We all know that unhealthy people are a higher risk of diseases and death than the average healthy person.

If we continue pushing our younger generations into unhealthy habits, whether it’s eating or something else, the average life expectancy will drop once again.

(Below is an opinion clip from a concerned mother of two, who wishes not to be named to protect her children, telling us about her views on obese children of today.)

from Tside

“No Pyro No Party?” (Hard feature for Andrea)


Flares lit up the sky Heaton Park when Courteeners played there in June

Pyrotechnic devices are on the rise as gigs around the country. On Monday 23rd November 2015 a flare was lit in Leeds’ O2 Academy during a performance by the Courteeners, prompting the venue to cut out the music and bring the lights up. The band continued playing with the help of the singing sold-out crowd, but it is not the first time that pyrotechnics have been used at a Courteeners gig.

One fan that was at the gig was 17 year old Michael Brant from Wakefield. He said: “I love the Courteeners and have seen them so many times. When you buy tickets you know that someone will bring a flare. It is becoming part and parcel of their gigs. At the Leeds gig I was stood behind the guy who let the smoke bomb off. I smelt it before I saw it. It was horrible and I am getting sick to death of them going off.”

I have seen the Courteeners seven times and at four of these gigs pyrotechnics have been used. The ‘heaviest’ use was at their Heaton Park gig in June this year. Despite several warnings stating: “Anyone caught with flares will be ejected!” fans managed to smuggle them through security gates. Admittedly, looking back at photographs from the event it looked fantastic.


Warnings did not stop pyrotechnics getting into Heaton Park

Many argue that pyrotechnics add to the atmosphere, maybe so at outdoor events. However, there is a ridiculously high danger factor with these devices, some reaching up to 1600 degrees Celsius.

Someone who knows too well about the dangers of pyrotechnics is Arron Lockett. At the Heaton Park event a friend of his, who requested not to be identified, was burned with a flare. He described it in detail to me: “One minute everyone was fixated on the band, the next we are blinded with smoke and everyone around us was being gassed out. Even with 25,000 people around me I could clearly recognise the scream of my friend. Everyone was strangely calm and the medics treated him as soon as possible. It still confuses me how the flare got into Heaton Park, though.”

The burn caused by a flare at Courteeners' Heaton Park gig.

The burn caused by a flare at Courteeners’ Heaton Park gig.

It is a very fair point that Arron makes about it being a mystery on how they get into gigs around the country. It is the event security’s responsibility to keep gig-goers safe and the increase of these devices at indoor events is a serious threat to everyone’s safety. Festivals around the country are also seeing a surge of pyrotechnic users. Reading and Leeds Festival clearly state on their website that the use of flares and fireworks are not permitted neither at the campsite nor the arena. Yet they still manage to get into the grounds.

When the Libertines headlined the main stage at Leeds Festival the sky burned brightly in an array of colours.

Going into the festival there are random bad searches. These are so rare and over the past two years no one in our ‘clique’ have been searched. Going from the campsite to the arena is a different story. Almost everyone is searched. Coat pockets are emptied and bags thoroughly checked.

One man who has managed to get around security on several occasions is Niall Huggins. Defending pyrotechnics he said: “To be quite honest I am pro-pyro. I have set a fair amount off in the past at festivals and outdoor events. The atmosphere is made so much better when pyrotechnics are involved in my opinion.”

Niall was at The Courteeners gig at Leeds Academy when the smoke bomb was let off. He talked about the matter, saying: “They are the idiots. There is obviously a danger with them as a whole, but at least outdoors the smell is taken a way a bit and it can fizzle out. Indoors you could seriously injure someone. I am not saying that it does not look good, but there are limits and I would never take them to indoor gigs.”

The most recent example highlighting the dangers of pyrotechnics at a Courteeners gig was 5th December at London’s Forum. A smoke bomb was thrown onto the stage from the crowd.

Front-man Liam Fray furiously cut the music and demanded answers. Yelling: “Who was it? Point him out now! One person out of two and a half thousand threw it.”

No one admitted throwing it, much to the anger of the Manchester band. Twitter reacted to it, some poking fun at the band for kicking off, others defending them. One defender was Courteeners super-fan Rob Dockerty. He Tweeted: “Imagine getting annoyed at someone kicking off ‘cos they had a flare pelted at their head?”

The Courteeners reiterated a previous post made by them. Saying: “The authorities have advised us that anyone caught with smoke bombs or flares will be denied entrance. Anyone who sets one off will be ejected. We want all fans to have a great night, please don’t risk not getting in or spoiling it for yourselves, your mates and others.”

Pyrotechnics will always be an issue at live events. How long will it be before someone is injured so badly that security tightens up and thoroughly searches people?

from Tside

The launch of Sunday Girl

Upon opening Mima’s doors the art space is usually full of contemporary images and keepsakes which are more unique than your average gift shop. However, this Sunday the white, glass room looked a little different…

Adorned with quirky touches, the silver balloons that hung in the air spelled out ‘Sunday Girl’ ahead of it’s launch in a couple of hours. It was evident from the beginning that thought had been put into the celebration with vintage gift cards, wooden ornaments and specialised tea leaves sitting on the pine tables.

Sunday Girl is a magazine created by UCA fashion journalism graduate, Abigail Dennison. Aged just 21, she

Abi with her first issue

Abi with her first issue

decided to turn her university final project into something that we could all enjoy.

“I felt like the issues I wanted to read weren’t being covered in the media. I’d love to know about the cool things women in the 20’s were doing.” exclaims Abi

“Reading Cosmo at age 13, you’re exposed to articles such as “15 great sex tips” or “How to look good on a budget”. It’s just not right, we need to nurture young girls.”

With her long, brown hair and simple style, Abi channels that element of ‘cool’ that only the band Haim can seem to pull off. Despite this laid back look, Abi is far from that. Bubbly and excitable, she talks me through Sunday Girl with enthusiasm. After all, interning at some of the biggest media names (Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Look) Abi has a fantastic insight into life behind a fashion magazine and this gave her the push she needed to design her own.

“In recent years I feel like we’re massively exposed to consumerism which has been heightened by social media. I want more than fast fashion and digital highs, I want a magazine that people can cherish,” said Abi.

Hence the creation of Sunday Girl. A minimalist, simplistic monthly magazine that appeals to the aspirational girls, those who would rather read business tips over sex tips.

The ethos of Sunday Girl is definitely alive in Abi. Despite her young age she’s extremely fashionable and headstrong. Knowing what she wants and not getting bogged down by other consumerist magazines, she’s on her way to achieving her goals.

The Mima launch

The Mima launch

“I do aspire for a team of writers but right now I’m enjoying the magazine being a collab for those who want to participate. In the future I’d love to go digital, I’ve even got a blog running on the Sunday Girl website.” she adds

“I’m so thankful for my huge support network. My mum, Sylvia, handles the business side of things whereas my “unofficial mentor” Eve Hardwich, helps me turn the magazine into something amazing each month.”

Sunday Girls first issue features ‘girl next door’ Gabrielle Alpin as cover girl. It was through Abi approaching her PR team that she managed to secure the singer as her main feature.

However, the questions aren’t what you’d normally ask a budding star. Instead of the repetitive album and work quotes, the magazine focuses around what Sunday means to her and allows the readers to get a personal feel for the12166405_10207055582855547_638060458_n singer.

The rest of the magazine focuses on real women wearing accessible fashion and educating us on those inspirational characters that we don’t normally hear about in mainstream news.  

Abi said: “When interning at big fashion houses such as Vogue I realised how deliberating advertising can be to a magazine. For example, it was Swarovski’s 120th anniversary and they demanded a feature and, due to advertising, they expected it despite the fact there wasn’t any news in the story at all!

“I want a magazine which allows me the freedom to publish what I want.”

With the research and writing already underway for Sunday Girl’s next issue, it’s obvious that this magazine will be in the hands of all young girls.

“Sunday girl is every girl.” Abi exclaims.



You can buy Sunday Girl from 45 retailers across the UK (including WHSmith) or for £6 on their website


Abi shares her plans for Sunday Girl’s future…



Follow Sunday Girl on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


from Tside

It’s only a shirt? The evolution of football kits

With the new season fast approaching, it’s that the time of the year where we see club players trying to win a modeling contract to go alongside their footballing credentials. Something to add to the CV I guess. No, I’m not saying Wayne Rooney is about to be the next host of Britain’s Next Top Model, and no, I’m also not saying Cristiano Ronaldo is about to release his own brand of underwe…actually that one already happened.

Setting Cristiano’s briefs collection aside for a moment (erasing image of Ronaldo in his pants), it is of course new kits season…

Football kits have developed over time to the point where the players have air vents embedded into every panel, to prevent sweating and to maintain coolness of course. Designers and manufacturers tend to over-complicate the process in this technology-ridden era, presenting us with design points we actually don’t really give a hoot about. If it looks good, we will buy it. I doubt many supporters are sat praying for ‘ACTV Technology’ whilst anticipating the release of their new kit. If you are one of them people however, I apologise.

The idea of uniform kits specifically tailored to teams did not arise until 1870. Before then it was every man for himself, with every player having to wear what they could get their hands on. Only a coloured cap, sachet or scarf would give you an inkling as to who you were supposed to pass too and who you were supposed to tackle.

This proved to be a turning point in the development of football kits. Colours were assigned, although plain white kits were the popular choice because of their affordability. So that explains the large proportion of white kits today then.

A time when kits were simple

A time when kits were simple

In an era where we have more kit manufacturers than your average high street store, the very first were Bukta, dating back to 1879. Where are you now Bukta?! I guess they found it difficult to maintain their identity whilst being surrounded by the big daddies of today.

Numbers were first seen in the 1933 FA Cup final between Manchester City and Everton, with Everton’s players wearing 1-11 on their backs, as oppose to City who opted for 12-22. It then became mandatory for numbers to appear on every team’s kits in 1939. Imagine for a second if you will, football without shirt numbers. Phrases like, ‘the iconic United no.7 shirt’ and ‘the number 10 role’ would never have been coined.

Throughout the next two decades, kit designs were advancing and more and more teams became more individual and unique via their appearance on the pitch. This progression was taken to another level when Admiral revolutionized the appearance of kits after they signed a deal with Leeds United. For the first time a manufactures logo appeared on a football shirt.

This caused a chain reaction of teams, such as Manchester United, Southampton and West Ham, to sign up with Admiral. Shirt sponsors at this time were an unknown quantity, however Hibernian took the plunge in 1977 and became the first top-level UK club to wear a sponsor on their shirt (our old friend Bukta).

Despite an attempt for shirt sponsors to be removed during live broadcasts of games, BBC and ITV eventually stepped aside and thus opened the door for potential revenue from sponsors. Around the same time a familiar manufacturer started to make in-roads into the game, Adidas, replacing the traditionally used cotton shirts for a lighter polyester fabric. Game-changing.

It wasn’t long after that clubs started to implement third colours on to their kits, something that is expected today. In fact we have seen a whole host of colourful numbers down the years, particularly in the 1990’s where it seemed every club was in competition to see who could boast the ugliest strip. I’m sure some people still have nightmares about David Seaman wearing the Euro 96 England goalkeeper shirt.

"Thank god. Something to distract people from my moustache..."

“Thank god. Something to distract people from my moustache…”

It was that same decade where football shirts took on extra significance, not just for the players on the pitch but for the fans too. Shirts were expected to look good on your average punter, not just your speedy left-winger with an eye for wet hair gel. However this led to teams exploiting fans and the marketing money pit by releasing a new kit on a regular basis. Cheeky.

This matter was eventually resolved when clubs agreed to retain their kits for two seasons, although as we know today that is far from the case. Tottenham went the extra mile in 2007/2008 when they released not three (as is the norm these days), but four kits for one season. The fourth kit, their 125th anniversary kit, was only worn once.

The 1990’s proved to be a minefield of kits which sole purpose seemed to be to cause pain to the iris. Shapes of all sizes, bar code stripes, paint splashes and animal influenced (did I mention Hull’s tiger kit?) designs littered the UK leagues. Today, many class these strips as collector items.

"My eyes!"

“My eyes!”

We were first introduced to words such a ‘lightweight’ and ‘hi-tech’ in the late 90’s, with the first notable and memorable example of a modern style shirt being Tottenham (Spurs are clearly trend-setters). Sadly there lycra fitting range of shirts failed to impress the ‘larger’ population of Spurs fans.

The 2000’s have seen an influx of more basic designs compared to those in the 1990’s. Football kits have gone from being a simple way of distinguishing a team, to being a major way of making money thanks to lucrative deals.

Speaking of lucrative deals, Manchester United’s recent partnership with Adidas was worth around a staggering £750m. This season Old Trafford is home to the most expensive kits, with £60 for an adult shirt being the most expensive in a study into the price of football. If you think that is extortionate then listen to this. It costs £118 for a full adult strip, including shorts, socks and a name and number at the Old Trafford club. Blimey.

Football kits have come a long way. The interest and anticipation for the release of new kits is higher than ever. Prices may not be getting any lower, but that isn’t stopping fans from purchasing the endless line of gear released year after year. Let’s just hope clubs aren’t getting any ideas from Ronaldo’s underwear range.

from Tside