How Photographing Football Matches Helped Me Overcome The Trauma Of Lockdown.
In the Autumn of 2021 and the nonsense that was termed 'Lockdown' seemingly behind us, we were eventually allowed to go out and function as normal human beings again. No more masks and standing 10 feet apart (not that I ever took any notice of it). Sporting events and concerts were now back on the agenda and people were 'allowed' to congregate once again.
It was good to see people standing together and not wearing masks.
'Lockdown' had driven me crackers, not because I was frightened of catching some deadly bloody virus that you had to test for to find out if you even had it or poison your body with a miracle cure (that has been proven to do more harm than good) to make you feel safe, but because I couldn't get my head round that people could believe the crap they were being fed on the T.V. and Social Media, so for me, going out and integrating into the big wide world again with all of these psychologically damaged people was quite a challenge.
After much thought I decided I would try my hand at photographing football matches, it was something I could do on my own and would enable me to find my feet in society.
I decided to go to Halstead Town, a non league club where I had spent many happy hours in my younger days. Along with trying to capture the action, I also had the idea of starting a project where I would build a collection of candid black and white images of the crowd, grounds and any incidental scene that took my eye.
At first I kept myself to myself, but after a few games one or two people asked me if I was from the paper and where could they see the pictures that I took. Before I knew it I was pointed in the direction of the guy who looked after the website and soon my images were 'online'. In turn he pointed me in the direction of the local newspaper who now publish at least one of my pictures of the most recent match I have covered.
Over time I got to know a few people at the ground and was asked to go with them on the coach to away matches, after just two years I'm now part of the furniture and on an 'ad hoc' basis the unofficial club photographer. So much so, that I now have a display of my work in the clubhouse.
Going to Halstead Town with my camera proved to be an excellent decision as it helped me integrate into society again, I've made new friends, my interest in photography has returned and in a small way, I now feel like I'm part of something. A very positive outcome from what was for me, a very depressing situation.
These images are part of the project I embarked on and have been taken at various Halsted Town matches over the past 2 years