I’ve always believed that sport is an extremely important subject matter to paint about. I believe that sport brings people together in celebration from all walks of life and that sport has the ability to unify people, which is what I like to portray in my work.
I’ve always had a very close relationship with my dad who was a PE teacher and manager of six tier Baldock Town Football Club in the mid 90’s. It’s this relationship that inspired me to create paintings about football, and the sporting prowess of athletes, capturing the passion of the fans, and the emotion that sport can stir from within.
I studied art at the university of Liverpool, and I had a very good tutor, who encouraged me to paint about something I loved and was passionate about which was football at the time, and this enabled me to go on a journey and explore the possibilities of creating artwork without fear or boundaries. I was able to explore different techniques and use football as the vehicle to create dynamic paintings full of movement. Through mono printing and painting techniques. I created the early foundations of my style which I’ve developed over the years always referencing Picasso and Matisse as my artistic influences.
My love for sport and art has enabled me to collaborate with some of the biggest sporting organisations in the UK, and around the world including Manchester United, Wembley Stadium, Team GB and Barnsley Football Club. I also have paintings in Dubai at the Emirates Golf Club and the Dubai Creek Golf Club having painted live during the Dubai Desert Classic. I was officially commissioned by the Emirates Golf Club to paint their 25th anniversary piece, which I’m delighted to say hangs in their clubhouse along with the Dubai Creek piece
Team GB and the Olympics
Sport has given me so much inspiration over the years and my lifetime ambition was realised when I was appointed Official artist for Team GB in 2020 for the Tokyo Olympics, and now the Paris Olympics. I have created Olympic murals in 2012 and 2021, celebrating the athletic achievements of our Team GB superstars. During the Tokyo Olympic games, I created a medal winning moments mural, painting it freehand directly on to the wall in Carnaby Street in London, celebrating every Olympic medal that was won by Team GB. It was a huge mural spanning at least 50 meters around the walls of number 3 Carnaby street. I was under extreme pressure because I had to create my mural in real time and each time an athlete won a medal, I had to paint it on the wall in time for the next day when the process would start again.
The mural took on a life of its own because every day was new, and I was stepping into the unknown as we didn’t know who would win the medals. I had to make sure that I didn’t fall behind with the project because our athletes were so successful that on average, they won between 6 to 10 medals a day. If I fell behind the project would have capitulated because there would have been too many medals to capture. It was great because the public were able to come and watch me, and the mural was televised on national TV which meant people from all over the UK came to see it including the Olympians themselves who even signed the mural which made it extra special. It was the best project I’ve ever been involved in and I’m very grateful to Team GB and very much looking forward to going to Paris with Team GB to depict the Olympics on canvas once more
Barnsley FC Mural
I’m a lifelong Barnsley fan, and the official artist for Barnsley Football Club, and have created a huge 60-meter mural at Oakwell Stadium celebrating legends and prominent moments in the club’s history from 1887 to present day. With scenes depicting the famous FA Cup win in 1912 and the jubilant promotion to the Premiership in 1997 becoming focal points of the narrative. Legends of the club, such as Ronnie Glavin, Eric Winstanley, and Mick McCarthy, were depicted in my style, their likenesses captured in the emotion and determination they represented whilst wearing the famous red.
Creating the Ponty End mural was a chance to give back to the community, the club and town that has been such an integral part of my life. I’m very passionate about Barnsley and extremely proud of my routes so I created the mural for the fans to enjoy and celebrate their love for the club collectively, and as a fan myself I understand their passion as my family have been Barnsley fans since the club formed in 1887 with My dad being from “Cuddeth” as the locals affectionately call it. I hope that I have managed to achieve something the fans can relate to, and generations of Barnsley fans can enjoy the mural for as long as it is there.
Being someone who loves sport and cherishes the beautiful game, having my art at Wembley stadium is a terrific achievement for me. I have two murals and forty paintings on display around the stadium which is a dream come true. Creating the Wembley stadium murals has been one of the most amazing experiences of my artistic career. As I approached this iconic task, I felt a sense of responsibility and honour, knowing that my work would become a part of the rich tapestry of history that is Wembley Stadium, the Home of Football.
When I first set out to design the murals for Club Wembley, I wanted to infuse every brushstroke with the essence of the stadium’s storied past. My goal was to create something that resonated with the fans, something that would stir their emotions and rekindle their memories of the legendary moments that have unfolded within the famous walls, not just in sport, but in the various historical events that happened within the stadium since 1923.
Drawing inspiration from the historical grandeur of the Bayeux Tapestry, I aimed to tell a story that walked viewers through the most significant events that have graced Wembley. I wanted the narrative to flow, capturing, the victories that have defined the stadium’s legacy. The challenge was to encapsulate the spirit of the sporting battles, concerts, and cultural events that have made Wembley a symbol of excellence and ambition, which I hope I have managed to achieve in my art.
My murals at Wembley weave together figures and scenes in a style that has been referred to by others as like a modern L.S. Lowry, which is a huge compliment for me, as he was a genius who famously captured the daily life and industrial landscapes of Salford in Northern England. I sought to capture that same sense of movement and vitality, populating my murals with figures charged with energy and emotion that would hopefully take the viewer on a journey as they walked through the timeline. Using the walls of the stadium’s architecture as my canvas, I painted the murals freehand, and it was such a pleasure and a joy to try to capture the rich history of this fantastic stadium.
I’m a huge England fan and like all England football fans I’m desperate for us to win something in my lifetime but until that happens, I thoroughly enjoyed painting about 1966 and telling the story of our most triumphant moment through a series of paintings celebrating our historic win against West Germany. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Sir Geoff Hurst who is a gentleman and purchased a piece from me depicting his iconic 4th goal. They think it’s all over… it is now.
Every time I visit Club Wembley and see my murals, I feel proud and grateful that my work is there and for the terrific opportunity Wembley have given me. It’s wonderful to feel a connection to the community of fans and athletes who have given Wembley its wonderful story. It will always be a privilege to have my art serve as a backdrop to their experiences, to their own stories of joy and elation, and to be a part of the living history of this extraordinary place.
Sport means the world to me, and I hope to continue to paint about this most important of subject matters throughout the rest of my career