The Festive season is now more or less over, thank goodness, but I have to admit it was a rather jolly affair, due in no small part to an unexpected visit to a local football match on Boxing Day.
A friend of mine, a keen amateur photographer, asked if I would like to come with him and a couple of chums to a match between two local semi-professional teams in a former mining village in West Yorkshire. As I had little else planned for that afternoon I gladly accepted and so off we went.
The weather was horrendous. Gale force winds, driving rain and a bitterly cold north-east wind swept across the muddy pitch but both teams gave their all in what turned out to be a really good game. Real football – not this tippy tappy stuff you watch on TV on a Saturday evening.
However, let’s get to the point I’m trying to make. The crowd was sparse, barely 250 die-hards, but keen as mustard, and looking around the ground I noticed several ‘characters’ and ‘situations’ that were crying out to be photographed. These would have made fantastic, gritty, warts and all, black and white shots.
As I say, real football, played by real men, and watched by real supporters of clubs in the wonderfully named Evo Stik League Northern Premier. Marvellous.
After the game I pointed out to my pal that photos of the crowd, the ground, the ladies serving the pie and peas and the various players and officials would make a fantastic photography book, and coupled with one or two ‘quotes’ from the long-suffering fans and short ‘interviews’ with those associated with the clubs it would be a terrific book, and a priceless record of how important these football clubs are to the community in small villages and towns.
I then went on to suggest that it would be great to visit all the grounds in this league, Whitby Town, North Ferriby, Frickley, Hednesford, Kendal etc etc…..and capture the spirit of the game at grass roots level. I’m sure it would make a very good book and one that would sell too.
It just goes to show that wherever you go, whatever you do, there is a book there waiting to be created and self published.