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The Saturday Boy

The Saturday Boy

As a kid Football was everything to me. The sights, the sounds, the smells of my first proper game had a massive influence on the 6 year old me. All I wanted to do from that moment was to be around football. To kick a football. To watch football (this wasn't as easily done then as the wall to wall coverage the game gets now didn't exist in the mid 80's). I wanted to recreate the twists and turns I had witnessed on the green canvas of Oakwell. The goals I witnessed from standing on my tip toes and peering over the perimeter wall  behind the goal were recreated in the my Parents back garden. My heroes were footballers.  

The passion for the game continued to flow  throughout my teens. The premier league started and football became mainstream and the perfect entertainment for many. The football computer games would become brilliant and something I spent far to long on, full summer holidays spent guiding Barnsley to domestic glory with my mates...trophy after trophy won on various  Commodore Amiga games.  

Supporting a club like Barnsley changed in 1996/97. We were brilliant and won promotion to the Premier league. The towns team would get its first ever season in the top flight of English football. The 1997/98 season ended in relegation, but the town came to life because of the success the club had. The town was buzzing on match days and it was an incredible time to be in and around Barnsley.  But something changed and expectations grew and grew.  Rightly or wrongly,; success became more of a demand than a dream. 

I continued to watched my club, but increasingly my frustration would grow. As I grew older my views and opinions changed, priorities altered if we lost, we lost - it wouldn't ruin my weekend anymore. As the money in the game grew and the playing field became so biased towards the "Bigger Clubs" my interest deteriorated even more and I started to find I was looking for things to amuse or entertain me off the field as much as on it. Yes. I was bored. Watching football bored me. The Bloke screaming abuse at the away fans bored me. The ex-player coming back and getting a barrage of abuse just made me shake my head. Its Just a game. 

I had taken up photography as a hobby and I thought I would try to rekindle my love of Football through the lens of my camera. I loved Capturing images. I loved Capturing images that for me showed the working class roots that my football up bringing had.  I love capturing things that we the supporters see, but probably pay no attention to.  I decided to follow my local Non League team and ditch the Professional. I quickly became the official Photographer for Athersley Recreation FC who play their trade in the Northern Counties East league. 

Football at this level is raw and the passion is real, the facilities are often not the best. This puts people off. The snobbery of the Professional Football fan is something that rankles with me.  The time and effort volunteers put into it is something that most take for granted and something people should take more time to appreciate,of course people don't do it for recognition, they do it for the love of a club and for their local community,  that is something that got me into what I do now for my club and something that keeps my passion of football alive. 

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