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How did it come to this football?

London football didn’t have a lockdown

Climb fences, discover secret passages, make random teams. How did it come to this?

In London, the world capital of football populated by thousands of teams spread between Premier League and Non-League football, the ball failed to stop even during the lockdown.

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Players at Power League, Tottenham gain access to a pitch through a hole in side netting – February 2021

Made in the final months of England’s third Coronavirus Lockdown, this is a documentary photography series that follows footballers breaking national lockdown restrictions to play Britain’s favourite sport.

The projects of Joshua T Gibbons centres around two football pitches, Mabley Green in Borough of Hackney and Power League Tottenham in the Borough of Haringey; environmental, action and portrait photography combine to demonstrate the lengths London’s footballers will go to play the Beautiful Game.

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Coming equipped; bolt cutters have been used to create an entrance to the football pitches at Mabley Green, Hackney – March 2021 / M displays his lockdown gains at Tottenham Power League – February 2021

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Players debate a foul. Power League, Tottenham – March 2021

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H shows off his ball skills. Mabley Green, Hackney – March 2021

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To ensure a pitch at Power League Tottenham teams would often nominate a player to arrive
as early as 8am to reserve one. This footballer has a snooze whilst he awaits his team mates / S rests post game. Tottenham Power League – March 2021

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A player leaves Power League, Tottenham through a hole in the venues perimeter fence – March 2021

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Litter left by footballers piles up on a grass bank. Whilst largely single use plastic bottles, items of sportwear such as football boots and baseball caps can also found amongst the rubbish. Tottenham Power League – February 2021

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An common injury caused by playing on artificial grass pitches. Mabley Green, Hackney – February 2021 / O fuels up with an energy drink prior to kick off. Power League, Tottenham – February 2021

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Players head home under an imposing grey sky. Tottenham Power League – March 2021

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Players leave Power League Tottenham via a hole in the fence of the perimeter of the venue – February 2021

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Player exits Tottenham Power League by climbing the perimeter fence – February 2021

Credits

Text & Photos by Joshua T Gibbons
IG @joshuatgibbons
joshuatgibbons.com

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