A Sleepless Summer

On Sunday 24th May, the curtain came down on yet another Barclays Premier League season.

Just a week later, I became a father for the first time.

At 06:17 on Monday 1st June, my wife delivered our beautiful baby boy, Oscar, into the world, and now, a mere 10 weeks on, I’ve finally found time to sit back and think about how quickly the close season has gone. No Wimbledon, no European U21 Championships, no Women’s World Cup, no Open Championship golf…the one summer every four years with no major football tournament or long term travel commitment, and this time around I spent it getting to know my newborn son. I made the most of the opportunity I had to put everything on hold and enjoyed the chance to spend as much time as possible with the little man, introducing him to friends and family dotted all over the country.

I knew that, before long, I’d be back out on the road, visiting this ground and that ground, driving here, there and everywhere. I certainly did a bit of that throughout June and July, but everyone at Offside were extremely understanding of the situation I now found myself in, so as far as sports photography is concerned, I was able to keep my time away from home to a minimum. Nevertheless, here’s what I got up to during those two months or so…

Fans protest against worker's rights in Qatar ahead of the team's friendly match against Scotland
Fans protest against worker’s rights in Qatar ahead of the team’s friendly match against Scotland
A streaker slides on his knees to reveal all during Scotland's match against Qatar
A streaker slides on his knees to reveal all during Scotland’s match against Qatar
A streaker plays to the crowd during Scotland's match against Qatar
A streaker plays to the crowd during Scotland’s match against Qatar
Competitors throw coloured dye at each other during the Run Or Dye 5k event in Cheshire
Competitors throw coloured dye at each other during the Run Or Dye 5k event in Cheshire
A competitor is covered in orange dye, along with his sunglasses
A competitor is covered in orange dye, along with his sunglasses
A Run Or Dye competitor
A Run Or Dye competitor
The registration desk at the World Worm Charming Championships in Willaston, Cheshire
The registration desk at the World Worm Charming Championships in Willaston, Cheshire
The World Worm Charming Championships get under way in Willaston, Cheshire
The World Worm Charming Championships get under way in Willaston, Cheshire
A trio of elderly ladies try to charm the worms from the ground
A trio of elderly ladies try to charm the worms from the ground
Plastic pots containing competitors' worms are gathered together ready for counting
Plastic pots containing competitors’ worms are gathered together ready for counting
The Casting Board showing the scores of each and every competing lot at the World Worm Charming Championships
The Casting Board showing the scores of each and every competing lot at the World Worm Charming Championships
A Warrington Wolves rugby league fan pinches the nose of Wigan Warriors mascot, Mighty Max
A Warrington Wolves rugby league fan pinches the nose of Wigan Warriors mascot, Mighty Max
Joel Tomkins of Wigan (L), Larne Patrick of Wigan (C) and Sam Powell of Wigan (R) combine to tackle Stefan Ratchford of Warrington
Joel Tomkins of Wigan (L), Larne Patrick of Wigan (C) and Sam Powell of Wigan (R) combine to tackle Stefan Ratchford of Warrington
Ryan Atkins of Warrington tackles Joel Tomkins of Wigan
Ryan Atkins of Warrington tackles Joel Tomkins of Wigan
A young Warrington Wolves fan
A young Warrington Wolves fan
A general view of the Halliwell Jones Stadium
A general view of the Halliwell Jones Stadium
A board shows the next match to be played at Sandygate will be the 155th edition of the world's first and oldest derby match, played on the world's oldest football ground
A board shows the next match to be played at Sandygate will be the 155th edition of the world’s first and oldest derby match, played on the world’s oldest football ground
Programmes for the 155th edition of the world's first and oldest derby match, played on the world's oldest football ground
Programmes for the 155th edition of the world’s first and oldest derby match, played on the world’s oldest football ground
The crest of Sheffield FC, the oldest football club in the world
The crest of Sheffield FC, the oldest football club in the world
Hallam FC and Sheffield FC walk out at Sandygate for the 155th edition of the world's first and oldest derby match, played on the world's oldest football ground
Hallam FC and Sheffield FC walk out at Sandygate for the 155th edition of the world’s first and oldest derby match, played on the world’s oldest football ground
Fans watch the action as Hallam FC take on Sheffield FC
Fans watch the action as Hallam FC take on Sheffield FC
Fans scan their tickets for the WSL match between Man City Women and Chelsea Ladies
Fans scan their tickets for the WSL match between Man City Women and Chelsea Ladies
Lucy Bronze of Man City battles with Melissa Lawley of Birmingham
Lucy Bronze of Man City battles with Melissa Lawley of Birmingham
The WSL logo on the sleeve of the Man City shirt
The WSL logo on the sleeve of the Man City shirt
Lucy Bronze of Man City battles with Jess Carter of Birmingham
Lucy Bronze of Man City battles with Jess Carter of Birmingham
Toni Duggan of Man City celebrates after scoring their 1st goal
Toni Duggan of Man City celebrates after scoring their 1st goal
Terraced houses are dwarfed by the building work that continues on the development of the Main Stand at Liverpool's Anfield Stadium
Terraced houses are dwarfed by the building work that continues on the development of the Main Stand at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium
Construction workers develop the Main Stand as building work continues around Liverpool's Anfield Stadium
Construction workers develop the Main Stand as building work continues around Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium
Building work continues on the development of the Main Stand at Liverpool's Anfield Stadium
Building work continues on the development of the Main Stand at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium
Building work continues with the redevelopment of the Main Stand at Liverpool's Anfield Stadium
Building work continues with the redevelopment of the Main Stand at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium
A young girl sits and reads her programme ahead of the WSL match between Liverpool Ladies and Notts County Ladies
A young girl sits and reads her programme ahead of the WSL match between Liverpool Ladies and Notts County Ladies
Artificial turf used to host the WSL match between Liverpool Ladies and Notts County Ladies
Artificial turf used to host the WSL match between Liverpool Ladies and Notts County Ladies
Fara Williams of Liverpool reveals her bum as she receives treatment to her injured hamstring
Fara Williams of Liverpool reveals her bum as she receives treatment to her injured hamstring
Stoke players warm up ahead of their pre-season match against Wrexham
Stoke players warm up ahead of their pre-season match against Wrexham
A silhouette of the goal net on a warm summer's evening
A silhouette of the goal net on a warm summer’s evening
A selection of stock pictures from Stoke City's pre-season match against Wrexham
A selection of stock pictures from Stoke City’s pre-season match against Wrexham
New Stoke loan signing Marco van Ginkel speaks to reporters after the match
New Stoke loan signing Marco van Ginkel speaks to reporters after the match
New Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri watches his side play against Mansfield Town in a pre-season fixture
New Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri watches his side play against Mansfield Town in a pre-season fixture
A selection of stock pictures from Leicester's pre-season match at Mansfield Town
A selection of stock pictures from Leicester’s pre-season match at Mansfield Town
Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel
Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel
Fans queue to buy tickets for Sheffield United's pre-season match against Newcastle United
Fans queue to buy tickets for Sheffield United’s pre-season match against Newcastle United
Fans queue to buy tickets for Sheffield United's pre-season match against Newcastle United
Fans queue to buy tickets for Sheffield United’s pre-season match against Newcastle United
A selection of stock pictures showing Newcastle players in action
A selection of stock pictures showing Newcastle players in action
Newcastle's newly-appointed manager Steve McClaren gestures from the sidelines
Newcastle’s newly-appointed manager Steve McClaren gestures from the sidelines
Newcastle's newly-appointed manager Steve McClaren looks somewhat dejected at his side's performance
Newcastle’s newly-appointed manager Steve McClaren looks somewhat dejected at his side’s performance
Benik Afobe of Wolves sprays water on his face before his side's pre-season match against Aston Villa
Benik Afobe of Wolves sprays water on his face before his side’s pre-season match against Aston Villa
A selection of stock pictures from Aston Villa's pre-season match away to Wolverhampton Wanderers
A selection of stock pictures from Aston Villa’s pre-season match away to Wolverhampton Wanderers
Burton Albion manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink gestures during his side's pre-season match against Derby County
Burton Albion manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink gestures during his side’s pre-season match against Derby County
Tom Ince of Derby battles with Damien McCrory of Burton
Tom Ince of Derby battles with Damien McCrory of Burton
Wearing an Everton kit again, Wayne Rooney smiles as he sits on the substitutes' bench for the start of Duncan Ferguson's Testimonial match against Villarreal
Wearing an Everton kit again, Wayne Rooney smiles as he sits on the substitutes’ bench for the start of Duncan Ferguson’s Testimonial match against Villarreal
Wayne Rooney plays for Everton during Duncan Ferguson's Testimonial match against Villarreal
Wayne Rooney plays for Everton during Duncan Ferguson’s Testimonial match against Villarreal
A selection of stock pictures from Everton's pre-season fixture against Villarreal
A selection of stock pictures from Everton’s pre-season fixture against Villarreal
A general view of the Allianz Arena in Munich as fans line the concourse
A general view of the Allianz Arena in Munich as fans line the concourse
A general view of the Allianz Arena in Munich from the surrounding concourse
A general view of the Allianz Arena in Munich from the surrounding concourse
A general view of the impressive Allianz Arena in Munich on Day 1 of the Audi Cup tournament
A general view of the impressive Allianz Arena in Munich on Day 1 of the Audi Cup tournament
Fans watch the action from behind bars in the Allianz Arena
Fans watch the action from behind bars in the Allianz Arena
A selection of stock pictures from Tottenham Hotspur's pre-season match against Real Madrid in the Audi Cup
A selection of stock pictures from Tottenham Hotspur’s pre-season match against Real Madrid in the Audi Cup
The sun sets as fans queue for snacks in the Allianz Arena
The sun sets as fans queue for snacks in the Allianz Arena
Joshua Kimmich of Bayern tackles Keisuke Honda of Milan
Joshua Kimmich of Bayern tackles Keisuke Honda of Milan
A selection of stock pictures from Bayern Munich's pre-season match against AC milan in the Audi Cup
A selection of stock pictures from Bayern Munich’s pre-season match against AC milan in the Audi Cup
Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris sprays water over his face during his side's pre-season fixture against AC Milan in the Audi Cup
Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris sprays water over his face during his side’s pre-season fixture against AC Milan in the Audi Cup
A selection of stock pictures from Tottenham Hotspur's pre-season match against AC Milan in the Audi Cup
A selection of stock pictures from Tottenham Hotspur’s pre-season match against AC Milan in the Audi Cup
Fans sit under the glare of the floodlights inside the Allianz Arena
Fans sit under the glare of the floodlights inside the Allianz Arena
Sergio Ramos wears the captain's armband for Real Madrid
Sergio Ramos wears the captain’s armband for Real Madrid
Bayern players Rafinha (L), Arturo Vidal (3L), Douglas Costa (2R) and David Alaba (R) celebrate victory in the pre-season Audi Cup tournament
Bayern players Rafinha (L), Arturo Vidal (3L), Douglas Costa (2R) and David Alaba (R) celebrate victory in the pre-season Audi Cup tournament
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