Art of Football – Interview

Art of Football

I recently found myself at Lyon station after England’s drab 0-0 draw with Slovakia.

Whilst waiting for the train I saw a despondent chap wearing a beautiful t-shirt of Gazza in his pomp.

The design looked familiar, so I got in touch with the creator, Luke, from Art of Football.

You may well have seen their t-shirts doing the rounds- notably a gorgeous set of designs for this summer’s Euro 2016. Sadly, that ’50 Years of Hurt’ range will be extended to at least 52.

Art of Football’s designs first came to my attention a couple of years ago when they produced a great visual of Bojan’s celebration in that memorable 3-2 victory over Arsenal.

But it was in 2012 when the idea first entered Luke’s head: “Man City’s crazy title winning match was incredible. The sudden transformation of anguish, nerves and misery into pure, uncontrollable elation was something of a spectacle.”

Luke is a Nottingham Forest season ticket holder, but; “Even I was bouncing off the walls when Aguero finally broke through QPR’s defences. As an artist and designer, I wanted to be able to immortalise that moment in a t-shirt so that fans could wear it with pride- as they would usually do with a replica shirt- and be forever reminded of it.”

The most popular design to date is of Bobby Zamora’s last minute winner for QPR in the Championship play-off final against Derby- something that obviously pleases the Forest fan!

Although just a small team- comprising of Luke’s brother Gabe and their friend Anthony- they have still been able to reach their ultimate goal.

As Luke says; “We see a lot of football merchandise is just churned out in its thousands and done cheaply to optimise profit rather than quality. We definitely thought there was room for our designs that have been thoughtfully made primarily as a piece of art. This way we can do our best to do justice to those moments that fans cherish so highly and the fans seem to like it.”

The fans certainly do like it, and I asked Luke whether there were more Stoke designs in the pipeline; “I would like to do something from the promotion winning season, and that Crouch goal against Man City would make a brilliant design! We are always open to suggestions if any Stokies have any?”

Those designs will all be from the past, but what about Luke’s impressions of the modern day Stoke?

“You have always been a hard team to breakdown- apart from the end of last season!- and now you have some real quality players going forward.

“I think its safe to say the whole ‘long ball’ persona of Stoke is gone. The physical team presence is still there but the style of football is a lot different. For one you have some of the best dribblers in the league in Arnautovic, Bojan and Shaqiri. I think Stoke will try and make a push for a Europa League place next season.”

Let’s hope you’re right, Luke!

You can pick up Art of Football’s ‘Little Genuis’ design of Bojan by heading to their website. Use the code SS20 to get 20% off at the checkout. Believe me, it’s money well spent.

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