I managed to experience two ends of the footballing spectrum once again this weekend, but this time they were even more contrasting than on previous occasions. On Saturday, I covered the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United vs. Queens Park Rangers, played out in front of 75,603 people at Old Trafford. On Sunday, I followed it up with Rudheath Athletic vs. Pockets in the Mid-Cheshire Sunday League’s Gordon Bennett League Cup (Round 2), watched by approximately 12 people, the occasional passer-by and a couple of dogs on Belmont Road in Northwich.
The latter allowed me a bit of a breather from the sterilised environment of the big match – simple things like being able to park up next to the pitch 5 minutes before kick-off, sit where I want, wander around the sidelines during the game etc. were all welcome luxuries when I’m so used to being told ‘no’ to everything I want to do, often by a steward in a day-glo jacket whose task it is once a fortnight or so to restrict people from doing their own job.
It was a welcome relief to be able to concentrate on the lesser details of the lower league game, without the worry of missing the winning goal or the celebration, or the red card foul, or the penalty dive, or the fuming manager, or the fans or their controversial banners. Armed with a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens, I tried to isolate the intricate aspects of Sunday League football. As it happened, I couldn’t have asked for nicer weather in late November, although from a photograhic point of view, I could’ve done with it being either wetter, or colder, or ideally, a combination of the two. As more opportunities arise to shoot these sorts of fixtures, the more I’ll be looking for to ‘complete the set’.