Martin Parr brings his football fan photography to London’s Oof Gallery

The agony and ecstasy of the beautiful game are captured in all their glory at a new solo show of work taken across the photographer’s career

Benidorm, 1997

Parr has spent decades photographing football, though turning his camera away from the pitch and onto the fans. According to Oof – the football mag that runs Oof Gallery – the show captures people “celebrating, commiserating, or just meditatively lost in the moment of following their team”.

The exhibition features black and white images shot in Halifax, Hartlepool and Portsmouth, as well as sundrenched shots of fans baking in the sun in Benidorm.

Halifax Town football ground, The Shay, West Yorkshire, 1977 by Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, courtesy Oof Gallery
Halifax Town football ground, The Shay, West Yorkshire, 1977. All images © Martin Parr; courtesy Oof Gallery
Partick Thistle football fans, Glasgow, 1995 by Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, courtesy Oof Gallery
Partick Thistle football fans, Glasgow, 1995
Wolves fans, Wolverhampton, 2012 by Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, courtesy Oof Gallery
Wolves fans, Wolverhampton, 2012

Parr’s photography captures fans at moments of jubilation as well as quiet despair, conveying “the unity, passion, ecstasy and community of football” as it’s described by Oof – which was set up in 2018 with the aim of exploring the links between the sport and visual culture.

“This is an exhibition about how much football means to so many people, how essential it is to their daily lives,” adds the publication in a press release.

Walsall FC, Walsall, The Black Country,, 2013 by Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, courtesy Oof Gallery
Walsall FC, The Black Country, 2013
Portsmouth FC fans, Bradford, West Yorkshire 1980 by Martin Parr, Magnum Photos courtesy Oof Galler
Portsmouth FC fans, Bradford, West Yorkshire, 1980
Hartlepool FC Supporters, 1982 by Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, courtesy Oof Gallery
Hartlepool FC supporters, County Durham, 1982

“You will see yourself reflected in it, and your friends, your family, because in capturing football fans, Parr has created possibly his most earnestly positive portrait of British culture.”

Martin Parr’s solo show is at the Oof Gallery until May 8; oofgallery.com

SENIOR DESIGNER

MANCHESTER