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Life. Love. Hope. Stoke. Swansway interviews Ant Bunn from DUCK Magazine

Life. Love. Hope. Stoke. Swansway interviews Ant Bunn from DUCK Magazine


DUCK Magazine represents all things Stoke. We sat down with Ant Bunn from DUCK for an exclusive interview to discuss football, family & fun.

If you're local to Stoke-On-Trent, chances are you've heard of DUCK Magazine!

A much-loved monthly magazine devoted to Stoke City, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, football, sport, music, clothes, love, life, hope –  in short, everything that matters! We were lucky enough to grab Magazine Editor, Ant Bunn, for an exclusive interview...


Ant, this is probably a silly question, but we have to check; are you a Stokie born and Bred?!

Of course! I was born and brought up in Sneyd Green, which is central Stoke, 48 years ago, though for my age, I’m pretty immature; I’ve always had a baby-face and still find it hard to grow a beard!

I lived there were my mum and dad; Peter and Sheila, and my older brother Philip.

So who or what brought you into the Stoke City fold…your Dad, friends, family, love of footy….

It was a family thing; long before I was old enough to go to the match I can remember the excitement and anticipation as my dad and Phil readied themselves to go and then, when they returned, usually frozen, their post-match chatter. Football is a shared bond.

I knew I wanted to be part of that from well before I knew what ‘that’ was; being part of the Stoke City supporting tribe was very important and just something that was handed down through the generations.

The whole family had season tickets, and even then it was not just about the ninety minutes - more about the shared anticipation, the highs, the lows, far more lows that highs but shared, not just with my family but with the whole support group.

The start of the fanzine movement, back in the 80’s, was precipitated by a general belief that football fans were hooligans, post-Heysel; grounds were dilapidated and clubs seemed to ignore fans. What do you remember of those days?

I’ve always been a lover not a fighter, so although I knew there was violence around in those days, I never ever, really witnessed anything. No doubt there were some who went looking for it, but if you didn’t look for aggro, then it didn’t really come and find you.

For me it was the best time to watch football; we were all young; we had no responsibilities; we were more than friends, we were a band of brothers held together by our love of the mighty Stoke City and things like clubbing, clothes, music…..Stoke-on-Trent was ace in the late 80’s/early 90’s.

At away matches, there were always great pubs we’d find; there were still terraces, you stood up, you were part of the game, the ebb and flow, not so much like now, in your seat and the atmosphere a bit more anaesthetised.

I may be wearing my rose-tinted specs, but to me, this was the heyday of football, before it became global big business and everyone wanted a piece.

What prompted you to start Duck Magazine?

Well, I loved football, I loved Stoke, I loved my mates and I wanted to produce a magazine with my mate Lee that we would want to buy ourselves. As stated before, football is about far more than the actual match.


I felt like my mates and I were creative enough to produce something that other like-minded Stokies and folk would want to read. It certainly wasn’t started as a money-making exercise and still continues to be very much a labour of love. But it’s an addiction, and DUCK is my fourth kid. To me, it’s a celebration of all things Stoke, and all things that make life a bit better than the 9-5, put the bins out treadmill.

Surely it’s sacrilege to say that there’s more to life than football?!

I have a wife and kids, so, I’d be shot if I didn’t say there was more to life than football!


In all seriousness, football is kind of a peg that we hang our identity on; it is part of who we are, a shorthand for letting people know what you’re all about. My life would definitely be poorer if there was no Stoke City. If it was just about the 90 minutes, as Stokies, crikey would we be downhearted, but it’s not – and that’s why, even when Stoke lose, you can still have a great day.

Come on then, Stoke-on-Trent, apart from oatcakes and The Potters, what’s it got to offer?

It has an identity, a real identity. And you can tell a Stokie as soon as they open their mouths – I love hearing our beautiful accent on TV! We also have a huge civic pride in our city, which means we can, and often do, laugh at ourselves and our city, all whilst being massively protective of it and proud of it.

As a city, Stoke is on the up. We’re in the bidding for UK City of Culture 2021, and we are right at the heart of the country. Neither north or south, we’re the gateway to both, and with our own identity; four airports surround us, as do two major motorways, and some of the best leisure facilities, culture, and picture postcard places to go are on our doorstep or in our midst. We’re also a clubbing mecca: music, like football, is an important release. We gave the world the Golden Torch, Shelleys, and Golden…..three of the most iconic club nights in the UK.

For too long, Stokies have never shouted from the rooftops about the great stuff in our city, part of DUCK’s mission is to change perceptions a little, from within and outside the city.

Explain your strapline…Life. Love. Hope. Stoke.

Read my answers to the above questions, and you’ll get the picture. We are glass half full people. Most of the time!

Is there hope for Stoke City?


A club firmly established in the top flight of English football; with a wealthy local chairman who knows the area and its people, and who every other club would love to be leading their club; affordable season tickets which have been frozen in price for a decade; free away travel; the City 7 initiative; a stadium that still boasts one of the best atmospheres around……..if there is no hope for Stoke City, heaven help the other 91 clubs!

What next for Duck Magazine?

Our readership continues to grow, both of the printed mag and our digital issues and we are blessed with shedloads of great contributors. We love producing the mag, and we get superb feedback. We just want to grow what we already have, and remain decent people.


Keeping a print magazine going is vital for me – it’s what we set out to do, and no matter how digital the world becomes, we love the printed word. We’ll also keep bringing out merchandise that people like, and doing our best for our chosen charity.

Ant, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us!

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