This above image of Bristol Rovers supporters features in a limited edition charity calendar released by world renowned photographer Stuart Roy Clarke, as he shines his unique light on British football culture on the eve of the century’s third decade.
‘The Power of Football’ was commissioned by energy brand Utilita Energy, a rising supporter of football from grassroots to the Premier League, with all profits going to its charity partner, The Prince’s Trust.
The calendar represents just part of a new body of work from Stuart, focusing exclusively on Utilita’s partner clubs and the dedicated individuals who power the game at every level. Sub-brand Utilita Football will release more content on its social channels throughout the 2019/20 season, culminating in a full collection of work at the end of the campaign.
Stuart visited more than a dozen football matches in September and October 2019, from Bristol to Dundee, to capture the imagery for the calendar, before whittling down thousands of pictures to his final 12.
“Football, with so many clubs, is about belonging, it’s not about not-belonging. This project was designed by me to be a postcard home, a love letter, a sonnet to our folk and our nation from myself and Utilita,” explains Stuart, who since 1989 has visited hundreds of football stadia and released widely-acclaimed books, The Homes of Football and The Game.
“Thirty years ago, before all the young people we are helping were even born, I woke up one day with the conviction I should start a project as pluralistic as can be – based around football, our national game.
“At football, where few win anything but we try to keep up, compete, be part of something bigger, I feel we have the chance to be one.”
Last year Stuart’s extraordinary images formed a major exhibition at Manchester’s National Football Museum, while his works are also displayed at England’s training HQ, St George’s Park.
The Power of Football – costing £10 – is A3 and will be initially limited to a print run of only 500. At least £7.50 from each sale will be given to the Prince’s Trust.
You can purchase a copy online from www.homesoffootball.co.uk/calendar or from a selected number of outlets across the UK – details on the website. These are also on sale from the Club Superstore.