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Football- The Beautiful Game?

August 15, 2010

Well, I am not that much of a fan but this story did get me thinking and as it is the first day of the English football season I thought that I would share it with you.

Remember the world cup?  How could you forget, the hype, the hair, the huge salaries and the hoards of loyal fans?  Well, once the main games had ended and the vuvuzelas were safely burned, never to return again (you’ve gotta dream big),  another group got out the linament and started warming up.

It’s time for the blind world cup and my friend  UK-based photographer  Rebecca Matthews is all over it!

The competition which starts  today runs until 22nd August and includes  ten partially sighted teams from all over the world.  It’s being hosted by the  Royal National College for the Blind in Herefordshire and you are welcome to join in either in person or via their blog or facebook page.

Focus Here. Team English

And for those of you who are technically minded here’s a quick look at the rules:

•    All players are classified by their level of sight – B1 players are    considered blind
    •    The game is played on a solid surface
    •    There are five players in each team
    •    Outfield players must wear eye-patches and blindfolds (to equalize levels   of blindness)
    •    The goalkeeper is sighted, but cannot leave the area
    •    There are no off side rules
    •    The football contains ball bearings so that it makes a noise when it moves

So, as much as I don’t like football I have to say that these guys are a real inspiration. There is none of the pretence, ego and fluff that goes on with the main game and what’s more,  it serves as a big wake-up call that in life, anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Well done guys, we will be watching you!
The portraits attached are by Becky Matthews and form part of ‘Focus Here’, the Hereford Photography Festival’s programme of socially engaged Common Land commissions, funded by Arts Council England and the Cultural Olympiad Open Weekend Program.
Becky Matthews also worked with mentored artists Kirsty Pye and Sophie Forkles; Hereford Photography Festival’s Jaime Jackson; members of the B1 Football team and partially sighted and blind students from the RNCB. The exhibition also contains light boxes, a video art installation, and Digital art signs.
‘Focus Here’
ThePoint4, Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DT.
Friday 23rd July to Friday 27th August 2010
9am – 5pm

Anyone wanting more information about this project including interviews with the athletes can contact Becky Matthews on 07855 759102 or

A complete set of images can be found at:

And with that I will leave you in wonder,  amazing effort guys and thanks Rebecca!

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