When it comes to being a fan of football, I am a bit of a romantic fool; either getting my hopes up for England to win a major tournament or for my own team, Leicester City to do well in the FA Cup.
Reaching a final, let alone winning, for both teams, seem like a lifetime ago. England reached the final (and won) the World Cup in 1966, while three years later in 1969, the Foxes reached the final of the FA Cup, which they lost by one goal to Manchester City. Heartbreak!
Goodness knows that both England and Leicester have broken mine and many more hearts a hundred times over in the years that followed…Ecstasy followed by Agony for one or other of them, and like all the other broken-hearted fans, I keep coming back for more, because there’s nothing quite as thrilling as your football team, local or national, doing well in a big tournament.
It’s the unique experience that all sport gives. It brings us together, excites us and enriches us. The lows are low but the highs are the best and both live long in our collective memories.
When the event and performance are very special, it engages everyone, including people who don’t regard themselves as sports fans, the excitement draws people together in a lovely way.
I watched the FA Cup semi final between Leicester and Southampton on Sunday afternoon with the customary trepidation. I was amazed and delighted by the result. But also, I was even more delighted to see an audience at Wembley, albeit small, the fans were back.
Real people, real voices and a real presence to witness this game. I made as many sketches of them as the action, it was so great to see.
So here we go again, Foxes fans daring to dream once more. It’s not the repeat of 1969 as we thought it might be, because Chelsea beat Manchester City in their semi final.
Chelsea are the polar opposite of Leicester City, having enjoyed great success in the FA Cup over the years, but maybe it’s the Foxes time? We know this team is full of surprises, its recent history is legendary. 2016 all over again?
I hope you enjoy my somewhat frazzled drawings and paintings! I wanted to post fairly quickly while the excitement is still fresh in mind.
Meanwhile, I can’t wait until 15th May.. will it be Agony or Ecstasy? I hope Gary Lineker has got his best pair of underpants ready if they win!
I am now in the process of making some more images based on the TV recordings and will post them individually with details for purchase. You can email for details or sign up to my newsletter for information 💙