The beautiful game: famous football prints

With England’s World Cup bid in full swing, football frenzy is building across the nation. Along with 31 other countries, The Lions will compete in the 22nd tournament since the inaugural games in 1930. Join us as we take a closer look at the famous football-themed prints and photographs from our collection.

Football World Cup Final, 1966

L.S Lowry, Going To The Match

Known for his depictions of industrial scenes in north-west England in the mid-twentieth century, L.S Lowry was a dedicated Manchester City football fan. A great observer of people, he produced several depictions of popular stadiums.

Arguably one of his most famous works, ‘Going to the Match’, features a sea of stick-like figures funnelling into the turnstiles at Burnden Park Stadium. As the stadium was sadly demolished in 1999s, Lowry’s painting as become something of a nostalgic memento for many wistful football fans.

L.S Lowry, Going To The Match

Lowry filled the stands with cheering crowds and positioned them directly in the centre of the painting, capturing the excitement of the match. Red terraced houses and factories, also line the background to accentuate the community aspect of the game. 

Following the success of a bid last month at Christie’s in London, the iconic painting is now back on public display at our museum parter, The Lowry, in Salford who bought the painting for £7.8 million from the Professional Footballers’ Association. 

Football World Cup Final, 1966

On the 30th July 1966, England won the World Cup on home soil. Playing in front of their own fans and as well as eminent supporter, Queen Elizabeth II, England beat West Germany 4-2, scoring two goals during extra time. 

This photo which comes from our Mirrorpix archive features England captain Bobby Moore holding the Jules Rimet Trophy depicting Nike, the Goddess of Victory. The picture captures the greatest moment in England’s footballing history which was steeped in drama and emotion.

Football World Cup Final, 1966

Keith Haring, Football

American graffiti artist, sculptor and muralist Keith Haring bought elements of popular culture and ‘low art’ into the formerly exclusive spaces of galleries and museums. Throughout his lifetime, Haring produced a number of prints featuring energetic footballers situated against a striking background.

Keith Haring, Untitled

Although his artworks were flat and two-dimensional in depth, Haring created energy by surrounding their silhouettes with thick black lines to emulate movement. Haring also situated the figures in  'Untitled (Blue footballers, yellow ball)' just outside of the frame, imitating the energy of a football match. 

Drawing on the techniques of street artists, Haring's simplistic but visually impactful designs made art accessible to everyone.

Keith Haring, Untitled

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