The World’s Oldest Football League Club

The World’s Oldest Football League Club

by John Anderson

 A dream project  – to photograph the club I have supported since I was seven! As well as being “my” club, Notts County represents a life time of memories, an enduring friendship with my brother-in-law who first introduced me to the magic world of football and an ongoing connection to my city of birth. Notts County is also about community, drama, belonging, the simplicity of the (sometimes) beautiful game and the raw emotion that accompanies it.

This project is about endeavoring to capture some of the magic, emotion, sense of history and spirit of the club. Also it’s about seeing things from a more intimate perspective. I have two favourite images. The father and son waiting – this captures something of the way football is a way of relating – particularly for men perhaps – and a tradition of friends and family connecting and spending quality time together. One of my best moments of the day was watching numerous families arrive to Meadow Lane with a sense of anticipation and togetherness. For me, the “Win, Lose or Draw” behind the father and son is particularly apt – always there is the focus on winning, yet regardless of the result, the connections, the anticipation, the hope and the community remain.

The other image I love is of Jon Stead tired, dirty and thoughtful in the players tunnel after the game. What’s he thinking? Professional footballers can be demigods to the fans that watch them but this picture captures paradoxically his humanness too.

A big thanks to the new chairman Alan Hardy and Notts County Football Club for being so positive about this project and for opening the door to capture match day at the lane


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