Football stadia today are what castles were to the Middle Ages - architectural giants dominating the community, citadels of local pride and power.

Within their walls they retain a similar presence. They are the social and economic powerhouses of the community, focusing the aspirations and dreams of their disciples, and through this becoming financially stronger and stronger. All that's lacking is the political power, though football's popularity and profile has forced allegiances to be declared from all manner of UK politician.

Abroard the links can be even greater. There are many socio-political flashpoints where football is the vehicle for cultural change or resistance - just look at Glasgow, Spain and the Balkans.

Is it any wonder the arenas these dramas are played out in have become so important? With the ever increasing financial side of football dictating club policy, the last ten years have seen the rebirth of stadia architecture and construction. Nowhere has this been more evident than in Britain, and in particular England.

Where once a traditionally working class community gathered on terracing in ill conceived and inadequate football 'grounds', the turn of the century has witnessed the emergence of spectator gentrification and rampant football consumerism, all neatly packaged into magnificent purpose-built 'super stadia'.

 

Sports stadia are acknowledged to have existed during only two periods of western-European history.

The Greeks and Romans left us with the remnents of their architectural genius, most notably the Colosseo in Rome. Hundreds of years later the advent of team sports in Britain led to mass spectator participation and the creation of the first 'modern' stadia.

Perhaps this lack of representation in human history explains why sports stadia design is an often overlooked architectural field when it comes to defining mans greatest building acheivements. Or perhaps it's just that until only recently the vast majority of stadia have been appallingly designed, ill conceived and unworthy of professional or public praise.

How times change! The revolution in sport over the last ten years has resulted in a rejuvination of public interest, commercial application and social status.

My interest in sports stadia - particularly football grounds - includes their design, their place in popular culture, their history and their future. I hope to realise these interests in the following forms:

An online gallery of my visual compositions taken around the world

   
Exhibitions
   

Books and publications

   
General stadia picture archive
   
And lots more - details soon!
   

This initial website is an opportunity for me to display the photography I have created on my travels around some of Englands greatest sporting citadels over the last few years. There are also some European and American stadia, areas I intend to develop.

The learning curve involved has seen an improvement in photographs taken - when I first started I simply used disposable cameras (the fear of not being allowed to take pictures inside a ground made this the most practical option) whereas today the panoramic composition facility of my Pentax allows for stunning creations.

I hope you'll agree that the results can be stunning, and that over time you'll return to this site and view the many new additions which are sure to appear here. Some of the compositions are available to purchase, though they are either original one-offs or of limited edition only.

All comments and views welcome. Why not e-mail me at:

s[email protected]

 

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