Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Football now and then...

This photograph was taken by Peter Robinson in 1971 at Molyneux at the game between Wolves and Manchester United. The photograph is on the cover of the book Football Days, by Peter Robinson.

Robinson was arguably the leading sports photographer of his day and in this photograph you can see why. Normally football photography is very much focused on the action, but clearly this picture was about much more than football, in it Charlton is framed alone ready to take a corner, virtually every man and boy in that stand behind the goal is starring at the United number nine. I actually think the fans are Wolves supporters, though I cannot be 100% sure about that, some of them are too weird looking to be Reds (that's a joke). Whoever they support, to a man their collective eyes are transfixed on Charlton who was a football god, having helped United win the European Cup in 1968 and before that the World Cup for England in 1966.

Back in 1971 most fans stood up at the match, as is the case in this shot, if you look closely you'll see fans of all ages mixed in together with the youngest down at the front. To fans of my age, these were the golden days of football, when you'd go along to the match with just your teenage mates. Also note that there's only one woman in that stand - and just like these days, she's not watching the game! (right hand side half way down) Robinson's wonderful photograph of Charlton at Molyneux is almost a social commnentary on the working class people who'd reguarly go along to support their local team.

Take a closer look at this fabulous image here

IF you want to buy the book it is still available today, the forward is written by Michael Palin of Monty Python. You can buy the hardback version for under £5 from Amazon, which cannot be bad.

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