Old versus New
As part of Goal Click: London, in partnership with adidas, Mark Leech and Charlotte Wilson from Offside Sports took photos in and around top-flight football to capture the fan atmosphere around the stadiums and the impact of new ground developments.
Saturday 16th April 2016, Chelsea v Manchester City, Stamford Bridge, London
These three images were all taken at the Chelsea v Manchester City match on 16 April 2016. It was a live TV match at 17:30 and was obviously scheduled as a title-deciding match.
The atmosphere on the Fulham Road was unusually subdued and the scarf sellers were trying to sell match scarves from previous games. The war memorial gate seemed an inappropriate place to hang these and I thought the police officer brightened up the photo on a gloomy evening.
The groundsmen are often waiting on the first corner of the pitch, as photographers enter the perimeter track. Normally I’d walk past but thought this shot would work for this project. Ditto with the flying balls sign, which is such an easy shot to take but an easier one to ignore and walk past, as most regular photographers tend to do.
Sunday 8th May 2016, Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton, White Hart Lane, London
The North Stand of White Hart Lane can be seen behind the construction site for Tottenham's new ground. A number of old grounds have seen changes in recent years; Arsenal's Highbury gave way to the The Emirates, West Ham's Boleyn Ground has just been left for the Olympic Stadium and Liverpool's Anfield is under heavy construction. This image shows this modern progression - the new encroaching on the old.
Fans make their way to the stadium ; one proudly carries a Tottenham flag. I wanted to get a picture of Spurs fans walking past the Tottenham blue wall topped with metal spikes, but soon found there were few fans wearing shirts passing that way. I had actually started to leave when I spotted the featured man approaching with his son and flag so ended up running back through the crowd to get the shot.
Sunday 24th April 2016, FA Cup Semi-Final, Crystal Palace v Watford, Wembley
Crystal Palace fans dressed from head to toe in team colours make their way to Wembley. As it was a bleak day, finding fans without a big coat on was a little more challenging than usual. Luckily these lads didn't disappoint and with their colourful scarves, shirts, wigs, flags and face paint show the now usual dress of football fans going to Wembley.