‘I’ve had hip surgery once, shoulder surgery twice, my left knee needs replacing and my back is ruined. This was their farewell to football – and mine too’ Football was everything to me in my teenage years. My father and grandfather played, so there was never any question that I would. But when I was offered football scholarships, I turned them down to study the arts. Coming back 20 years later to shoot the game I gave up for photography gave me a rush of nostalgia. This shot is of the Vikings, a high-school team in Phoenix, Arizona. I chose this school because it was like the one I attended, with the same vast array of social, economic and ethnic backgrounds. I spent the whole season with the Vikings, getting to know the boys and their families. I realised how much the game meant to them – and how much it still means to me.
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