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IT'S MORE THAN JUST A GAME........... 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. '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.

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Tuesday 12th September I am delighted to announce that all of the images I take at Halstead Town FC are now available to purchase directly from my website as 8"x6" lustre prints presented in 10"x 8" vanilla strut mount. PRICE LIST: 1 PRINT - £10.00 2 PRINTS - £18.00 3 PRINTS - £25.00 4 PRINTS - £32.00 5+ PRINTS £7.50 Each P&P £2.60 1st Class Signed For For more information, please visit the gallery

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Tuesday 12th September I have added more images to my ongoing Black & White Football Project. This photo was taken at the FA Cup match against Romford which was played in torrential rain. It was half time and this bedraggled chap braved the elements for a half time cuppa and a smoke.

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Monday 28th August - Kick Off 3.00pm There was a full fixture list in the Essex Senior League for this August Bank Holiday Monday and Halstead Town welcomed FC Clacton to the Milbank Stadium on a warm but cloudy afternoon in front of a very respectable crowd of 318. Before the match club captain and goalkeeper Jack Cherry was presented with a tankard to mark his 200th appearance for the club and he was not going to be in for a quiet afternoon. Before concentrating on the match I decided I’d try and get a few photo’s of him in action and Clacton duly obliged by calling him into action several times in the opening few minutes and it wasn’t long before Clacton took the lead with a well taken shot which curled past his despairing dive. Going behind spurred Halstead on and they pressured the Clacton goal and deservedly got an equaliser with a looping Kane Gilbert header. Gilbert was then lucky to see only yellow after a clumsy challenge, similar to the one that saw Lauren James get sent off for England in the Women's World Cup. As was the Clacton captain and goalkeeper who’s reaction was somewhat reckless. Both lucky to stay on the pitch. The match could have got heated after that, but things calmed down and the home side were lucky to go in level at the break when the visitors hit the post in the dying seconds of the first half. Half Time Halstead 1 - 1 FC Clacton Halstead started the second half looking much more like it and soon had the ball in the net, but Jake Brown was deemed to be offside, but it wasn’t long before Adi Funbi put Halstead in front with his first goal for the club and 10 minutes later Joel Older made it 3-1. At this point Halstead were well on top and must have thought it was job done as they made 3 quick substitutions which seemed to upset their rhythm and Clacton got back into the game and pulled one back. This spurred Halstead back into action and substitute Harry Pinkney let a shot fly from the edge of the box which struck the woodwork and rebounded out. If that had gone in Halstead could have seen it out, but Clacton were on a mission and in the 90th minute got a deserved equaliser. Halstead then saw out a nervy 10 minutes of added time and did well to survive what seemed like a constant barrage of Clacton pressure. On reflection, a draw was a fair result in what was at times a feisty and hard fought match. From a Halstead perspective it was 2pts dropped, from being 3-1 up, they really should have seen the game out and in the end were lucky to come out of it with a point. Essex Senior League Premier Division Milbank Stadium, Rosemary Lane, Halstead Halstead Town 3 - 3 AFC Clacton Admission - £7 (£3 concessions) Programme - £1.00 Cheeseburger & Tea - £5.00 Att 318

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HOLIDAY PHOTO'S April 3rd - 24th 2023 Have finally found the time to edit the rest of the photo's I took in Cyprus. I had to be quite ruthless as I had taken over 400, but here are a selection of my favourites. They're very much holiday photo's, a lot of them being taken because I was there at the time and not able to get there when the light was at it's best. I'd have loved to have been in the Troodos mountains in a car at daybreak or dusk, but it was on a coach stop at mid day. Despite this I'm quite pleased with my efforts. They're all hand held as I didn't take a tripod with me, but I did use a polariser filter to give them some oomph. Hope you like them!

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