Due to the lack of Hull City action, I made the most of the football-free weekend and took a relaxing trip to the Lake District.
Actually, it wasn’t totally lacking football as my debut visit to Ambleside took me to the Homes of Football gallery, which displays and sells stunning photographs taken by Stuart Roy Clarke.
Even if you have not heard of him or the gallery, chances are you’ve seen some of his Hull City photos, such as the supporters’ club hut at Boothferry Park.
Prints of about a dozen of Clarke’s Hull City photos are available at about £50 each, although each one is limited to 50 copies some others have sold out. You can order the prints online, but I would thoroughly recommend a visit to browse their bricks-and-mortar shop if you’re ever in the Lake District.
in the downstairs gallery, I enjoyed reminiscing about the terraces and eccentric scenes from football before it was all-seater and sanitised – compare the beautifully atmospheric photos of the old grass bank behind the goal at Springfield Park, Wigan, for instance, with their new DW Stadium and weep.
I also stumbled upon two great discoveries. Firstly, there’s this six-foot papier mache Hull City figure, carrying a club holdall.
I suspect it’s meant to be a coach or manager, but as it’s crudely fashioned I’m not sure who it is. Even so, it’s done in a charming way, and to be confronted with a Hull City statue made out of paper mache on the other side of the country is a great surprise.
Secondly, their shop sells individually hand-painted Subbuteo figures made in the likeness of famous footballers. Stocks were low, but among the ten or so items still left on the shelf were these little fellas – one-inch high versions of Jimmy Bullard and Geovanni, complete with proper hair and skin tones, the right kit and the name and number on the back.
They’re not bad likenesses, in my opinion, though Bullard would look more accurate with longer hair and a knee brace. That, I suspect, would involve more than paint.
Making further enquiries online, it seems there’s a company, Shoot First, which specialises in painting and selling these Subbuteo players. And as well as famous stars, you can buy personalised figurines made depicting any other players – or even yourself. All for less than a tenner.
Big hint for any non-football fans who happen to be reading this – getting your loved one immortalised as a Subbuteo figurine would be a flicking great present.
NOTE: I’m not gaining financially from this post, I just like the stuff I’ve written about.