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1970s football fan culture in the picture

16 July 2019 by Kay

“Art College was a far more attractive idea than prison”

These fantastic artworks were recently kindly donated to the Museum of Liverpool. They were painted by Andrew Kenrick in the 1970s and evocatively capture football fan culture at the time. Andrew grew up in Hoylake and is a big Liverpool fan. He mostly painted these particular pieces whilst at Art College in London and when he worked as a teacher. He would travel back up to Liverpool for home games and attended away matches whenever he could.

Andrew tells us more about combining his love of football and painting –

“I always loved art and decided that Art College was a far more attractive idea than prison. I wasn’t evil or “off the rails” but had left a top academic school at 14 to live an alternative life. A couple of years travelling, hitch-hiking and sleeping rough enabled me to see the disadvantages of low paid jobs and the potential benefits of further education. I undertook a Foundation Couse at the (then) London College of Printing and then went to Hornsey College of Art to study Fine Art and History of Art. I painted and sculpted and became interested in the excitement of crowds and fights at football matches. Read more…

Sports Pages take one for the team in Racism Row

12 April 2019 by Sahar Beyad

Emy Onuora

Guest blog from Emy Onuora

(Emy Onoura is the author of Pitch Black. Emy Onuora has an MA in Ethnic Studies and Race Relations from the University of Liverpool and has lectured extensively on issues of Race and Sport within higher education)

Raheem Sterling’s willingness to put himself forward as the spokesperson for a generation of black footballers is commendable, if only in the context of previous generations of footballers who were forced to suffer racist abuse in silence, even in some cases going as far as to insist that they used racist abuse as a motivator for improved performance. His challenge to the game’s leaders and opposition fans, and support for his team mates has marked a significant shift in black footballers demand to be treated with respect and dignity, has given other players the confidence to speak out and demand change. However, it’s his focus on racist attitudes within the media that’s had the most wide-ranging impact.

Sterling highlighted how his City team-mates, one black and one white received very different treatment by the Daily Mail. Tosin Adarabioyo and Phil Foden had each purchased a home. The headline on the Adarabioyo story read “Young Manchester City footballer, 20, on £25,000 a week splashes out on mansion on market for £2.25 million despite having never started a Premier League match.” The headline for his white team mate Foden, read “Manchester City starlet Phil Foden buys new £2m home for his mum.”

Sterling’s exposé prompted several days of hand-wringing and self-reflection from both the print and TV media. They openly wondered how it could be that they could be so discriminatory and how it was they had no or few minorities in their newsrooms or making editorial decisions. They began to throw around terms like unconscious bias and wondered what they could be done to make sports media more reflective of the range of diverse groups who love and have a stake in the game.

However, clearly missing from the debate was any detailed discussion of the role that the mainstream media plays in generating and supporting a climate of outright hostility and overt racism against immigrants, their children and grandchildren, inner-city youths, black music, black crime,  black gangs, black parents and so on and so on, all of it designed to generate click-bait and sell papers and generate advertising revenue.

Football as has been said often and quite correctly, reflects society, and the rise in racist incidents both in English and European football, is a reflection of an environment that serves to empower the far-right and racists more widely, and is fuelled by the normalising of hateful ideas, speeches and actions by mainstream politicians and mainstream and social media.

Outside the rarified environment of football, there has been a significant rise in racist violence against groups and individuals, and increased racist attacks on mosques, synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, but the media’s willingness to support opposition to racism on its back pages, enables the same business-as-usual hate-filled, opinion pieces, leader comments, headlines and articles to be written about minority groups on its front pages. What’s happened, is that In football parlance, the sports departments have taken one for the team. This has allowed the blame to be shifted to sports journalism, and enable the media to state its commitment to anti-racism in football while its hostile reporting continues.

Of course, the fact that in 2019, Sterling, Danny Rose and other black footballers are still the cause of debate as to how they should be protected, reflects the fact that football’s leadership has never prioritised their duty of care, to allow them to play free from racist abuse is an indictment of the game we all love and of the society we are all a part of and have a stake in. Raheem Sterling, Danny Rose, Wilfred Zaha and many other high profile and not so well-know players are doing us all a favour and reminding us that to create a society free from discrimination, requires opposition to racism not just when it concerns football, but also when it is actively fostered by those with the means and power to shape and form opinions.

GIRLFANS UNTOLD – a call to action

1 March 2019 by Matt

This International Women’s Day we are ‘kicking off’ a new project looking at the stories of women football fans.  Researcher Jacqueline McAssey tells us more-

“In 2013, to highlight the lack of visibility of female football fans, and to give them a sense of belonging in a predominantly male dominated environment I began photographing women and girls of all ages and ethnicities at football grounds in the U.K. At the end of each season I published the photographs in a fanzine called ‘GIRLFANS’ – most recently at Celtic FC in their double-treble winning season.

As the project developed I always enjoyed talking to supporters, particularly older women; season ticket holders who travelled home and away, who still wore football shirts and who knew everything about football. They told me of the deep bonds they had made with their club, their families and friends because of football, and I felt as though these stories and experiences had not been told before. In the race to attract new fans to football I often thought of them as the forgotten supporters; the over 40s, over 60s, over 80s even.

In a 2017 interview with Mundial Magazine I talked about a new sister project; a ‘prequel’ to the original photo-fanzine. This project, ‘GIRLFANS UNTOLD’ would document the experiences of older fans who watched football before the Premier League formed in 1992, or before England won the World Cup in 1966 – as far back as possible.

It is especially significant to be able to launch this project at the Museum of Liverpool, in a city where terrace culture, terrace style and the escapades of male fans have been well documented, and are still talked about today. In an attempt to redress the issue of womens’ experiences going unheard, ‘GIRLFANS UNTOLD’ is a collection of stories by life-long female supporters of Everton, Liverpool, Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United.”

On 9 March at our Girl fans kicking off event we will be showing some of the images Jacqui has already collected as well as showcasing some vintage football shirts from some favourite teams.

Kick-off is at 11am and Jacqui will be on hand to talk about her project and let you know how you can get involved.  If your team has played at any point in the Premier League please come and share your experiences of what it means to be a female football fan with Jacqui.

‘GIRLFANS UNTOLD’ is supported by Liverpool John Moores University and Studio Dotto.

www.girlfans.co.uk

www.ljmu.ac.uk

www.studiodotto.com

Remembering the World Cup 1966 – the Merseyside connection

18 June 2018 by Kay

 The cover of a visitor guide to Liverpool for football fans at the World Cup 1966

A visitor guide to Liverpool for football fans at the World Cup 1966

1966 was a good year for football on Merseyside….oh, and for England too!  When the World Cup was held in this country in July that year, Liverpool had just won the League and Everton the FA Cup.

In the museum’s collections we have a number of items which relate to World Cup matches played at Goodison Park, including match tickets, a visitor guide to the city for fans, an invite and menu from a special luncheon given by The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Liverpool on the occasion of the semi-final of the World Cup at the Town Hall, Liverpool City Transport tickets for overseas visitors and spectator notices.

Tickets from the five games held at Goodison Park were recently kindly donated by Jack Mulvey, an Everton fan. He tells us more – Read more…

Hillsborough tributes join Museum of Liverpool collection

14 April 2016 by Laura

Two people and painting

Artist Christian Hook and actress Sue Johnston with the painting

Two new objects, which have recently joined the Museum of Liverpool’s collection, have gone on display to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy (15 April). Read more…

We dig football!

13 July 2015 by Liz

old map showing houses and fields, with one property highlighted

Detail from James Newlands’ 1847 map of Liverpool showing the Queen’s Head. Courtesy of Digital Archives Association http://digitalarchives.co.uk/

This weekend, on Saturday 18 July, our archaeologists will be heading out looking for a pub – but this one won’t serve them a pint, it’s the site of an important historical event, and is under the ground!

The Museum of Liverpool archaeology team will be leading a community excavation in search of the Queen’s Head, Village Street, Everton in partnership with Friends of Everton Park . We’re looking to find the spot where the agreement was made to rename St Domingo’s Football Club – it became Everton FC in 1879, and from this time grew in size, and became a founder member of the Football League in 1888.

Local historian and former Liverpool Echo sports editor Ken Rogers, author of the best-selling ‘Lost Tribes of Everton’ books has undertaken considerable research about the building, and has discovered Read more…

LGBT History Month – an Everton football first!

26 February 2015 by Kay

Football boots with rainbow laces

February is LGBT History Month, which is an appropriate time to show you this recent addition to our collection.

Everton Football Club became the first UK club to publicly support Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign to kick homophobia out of football. Players wore these laces in their match against West Ham at Upton Park, 21 September 2013.

The special rainbow coloured laces were distributed to all professional clubs in the country and players were asked to wear them to demonstrate their solidarity for fellow players who are gay on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September. Read more…

Celebrating African World Cup legends

26 May 2014 by Mitty

African children holding two footballs

Image courtesy of Charity Ball

How do you explain football to someone who has never heard of it?

You don’t, you give them a ball.

Football is brilliantly absurd in how it manages to turn a simple and accessible game  into such an amazing spectacle. This June will see the World Cup come to Brazil and the biggest show of the year will be shared by literally billions of ecstatic football fans world wide, all hoping this will be their year to celebrate! Read more…

Shanks’ award to go on display

9 May 2014 by Lucy

People holding award

Curator Paul Gallagher and Shankly’s granddaughter Karen Gill with the award

On Thursday 15 May, a special item is going on display in the Museum of Liverpool highlighting the importance of one man and his success with Liverpool Football Club.

Bill Shankly was Liverpool Football Club’s inspirational manager from 1959 to 1974. He is widely regarded as the founding father of the modern-day Club, taking them from 2nd Division obscurity to an unprecedented period of success in the 1960s.  Read more…

Forever blowing bubbles at the Lady Lever Art Gallery

8 May 2014 by Laura

Painting of a young boy

Bubbles by Millais

While nervous Liverpool fans pray that West Ham can deliver them a helpful victory over Manchester City this weekend, they may be surprised to know that the Lady Lever Art Gallery holds a very special piece of footballing history connected to the Hammers. Read more…



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Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.