Photographs that remind you why football is wonderful

Photographs that remind you why football is wonderful

Stuart Roy Clarke’s photographs are a heart-swelling reminder of why you first fell in love with football. Sift through his glorious 30-year portfolio and you can’t help but forgive the game for its imperfections, sins, greed and corruption.

“When I began in 1989/90, the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster was about to come out… I knew there would be lots of words but where were the pictures? I decided to go around the country to photograph the game, full of excitement, wonder and, at times, despair.”

The result is an unrivalled collection of images that document not only football but also British social history.

“Football has seen incredible changes over the last 30 years,” says Clarke. “When I started it was a race against time to document the game as it was before the money rolled in.”

In the anti-modern football era, his images have taken on even greater resonance – a nostalgic reminder of the simplicity and beauty of being a football fan.

“I haven’t gone out of fashion. People tell me I’m still relevant because my work is authentic – and, these days, that’s what they are yearning for.”

Clarke released The Game last year – a collection of his favourite work complemented with commentary from John Williams from the University of Leicester, as part of his exhibition at the National Football Museum in Manchester. The book quickly sold out and now he has launched a Kickstarter project to fund The Game Revisited, which includes brand new content.

“Football is changing all the time and even as we were putting the book to bed we were wanting to include more and more, so this is an opportunity to do that.”

Clarke’s Kickstarter campaign offers a plethora of rewards, from a signed copy of the book to a visit where he will photograph and contextualise the football you love.

Find out more and donate to the project here.

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