Renowned football photographer Stuart Roy Clarke has launched his latest exhibition, ‘The Game’, at the National Football Museum, this month.
The 12 month exhibition showcases a hand-picked selection of Stuart’s favourite images, documenting the changing face of the beautiful game as seen through his lens.
Wycombe Wanderers are one of the clubs featured with an iconic image entitled ‘Reporting from the Ground’. Stuart tells the story of how he captured the image, after arriving at a snowy Wycombe ground, “I can see Motson’s brown sheepskin coat, standing out against the whiteout of the snow. So, without delay…I prise open the gates and cock the shutter of my camera. One shot and I create a photo, a moment in time, that will help elevate Motson and his coat to national treasure status and please audiences for many years to come.”
The collection of images has been taken over Stuart’s 30 year long career and capture what happens off the pitch as much as what happens on it. The exhibition will be updated throughout its run, with guest photographers including Britain’s first female sports photographer, Hy Money and Manchester City’s official photographer, Victoria Haydn.
A feature of the exhibition ‘…whatever happened to?’ focuses on the stars of some of his most loved images. Clarke hopes to trace the subjects and re-photograph them as they are today. A packed schedule of events, talks and screenings is also planned to take place throughout the year.
Clarke’s journey around football grounds started 30 years ago. Following the Lord Justice Taylor Report into Hillsborough he was appointed the first official photographer of the Clarke Trust, the body created to regenerate football. Since then, he has travelled the length and breadth of Britain, photographing the top UK league’s clubs and grounds and the people who play, watch and support the game.
Stuart Roy Clarke said: “My thoughts have always been around uniting the fans and followers of the game. Football is about so much more than what happens on the pitch; everyone has their own personal perspective, and this is mine – one that I have been lucky enough to capture and document for the last 30 years.
“When I started out, all I had was a box, Bronica camera and Kodak film. I have since taken thousands of photographs of the top 92 clubs in the UK and more. These images are some of my favourites and capture the transformation of the top five leagues over the past three decades.”
Tim Desmond, Chief Executive at the National Football Museum, said: “As we move towards recognising equality and wellbeing within the football family, it’s a delight for us to welcome Stuart back to the museum. His unique style of photography put the fans and the grounds at the centre of the changing story of the game. We are very proud to be housing this major retrospective of Stuart Roy Clarke’s work.”
Paul Bunting, Commercial Director at Stagecoach commented: “Transport is a key part of the match day experience for football fans across the country and Stagecoach helps thousands of people travel to games every week. We are delighted to be sponsoring The Game. The National Football Museum is a great attraction for the people of Manchester and more widely for fans across the country; we look forward to being part of this celebration of Stuart’s work.”
Jem Maidment, Director of Marketing & Communications for Utilita, who are partners of both Wycombe Wanderers and ‘The Game’, said: “Stuart captures the essence of the beautiful game right from grassroots all the way up to the Premier League – his style of photography is one that delivers raw emotion and captivates audiences. Utilita has many partnerships within football but we see this as a unique opportunity to sponsor ‘The Game’ and we are thrilled to be a part of this fantastic exhibition.”
The exhibition opens on Friday 23 March 2018 and runs until March 2019. It is partnered by Stagecoach, Mitre, and Utilita. Hatmills are supporting the ‘Whatever Happened To’ section of the exhibition.
For more information about the National Football Museum, please visit: www.nationalfootballmuseum.com.