Tag Archives: stadium

Etihad Hawk

Thursday 1st November 2018, 7.55pm (day 2,625)

Etihad hawk, 1/11/18

This picture needs some explanation. For the second time in a few weeks I visited the Etihad stadium, home of Manchester City, for a football match (there were reasons). While watching City do what they usually do, that is, barely break sweat but win easily, it was easy to be distracted in the first half by the activities of what appeared to be a hawk, or kestrel, that had taken up residence in the roof and kept flying between two of the stands. At one point it clearly dropped something that it was holding in its claws yet still managed to swoop down and catch the prey before it hit the ground (and or landed on someone in row F). I just about managed to capture it here in flight, even if it is not very definable. It may not be all that good a photo but it is still more interesting than the night’s football.

Postscript: As my Facebook friend Margaret pointed out after I posted this, the bird may well have been on professional duty; birds of prey are a good way of keeping the pigeon and other pest population down in a stadium like this.

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Sprinklers in action

Saturday 29th September 2018, 2.05pm (day 2,592)

Etihad sprinklers, 29/9/18

Football again, but definitely not non-league today. The Etihad Stadium is the home of current, and probably future, champions Manchester City, where even the pre-match watering of the pitch is done on a suitably grandiose scale. To call these massive jets of liquid ‘sprinklers’ rather diminishes them. Better a picture of them in the sunlight than of anything that happened on the pitch today, anyway — at least from my ‘visiting fan’ perspective.

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Ball girl, Raith Rovers FC

Saturday 5th May 2018, 4.35pm (day 2,445)

Ball girl, Raith, 5/5/18

The football season comes to its many and diverse ends, each club finishing in different ways with different emotions. Raith Rovers of Scottish League One have managed to blow their hopes out in the last three games, promotion hopes have disappeared and at the final whistle today all was over. It was a very melancholy place all round — club, and town (Kirkcaldy in Fife). Maybe this picture captures something of that.

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At the Amex stadium

Saturday 16th December 2017, 2.55pm (day 2,305)

Amex flag, 16/12/17

Welcome back to the Amex Stadium, Brighton, venue for several previous shots: all of which were preludes to victories by the mighty Brighton and Hove Albion. Today’s score versus Burnley: 0-0, so I lose my 100% win-only record there, but still, a point’s a point.

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Entry to the Etihad

Tuesday 21st November 2017, 7.20pm (day 2,280)

Etihad ramp, 21/11/17

For a birthday present for father and nephew (both Manchester City fans) I got them tickets for tonight’s UEFA Champions League game versus Feyenoord at the Etihad stadium, and went along myself.

It was a stellar exhibition of football genius and entertainment, as befits the most exciting sports competition anywhere in the universe, played by Gods who walk the earth in human form. At least, that was the media narrative. Personally I thought it was a rather tedious game, played out by a bunch of uninterested guys who knew it was essentially meaningless and that they’d get their £250,000 each this week whatever the result. And you couldn’t even get a beer at half-time.

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Stewards’ corner, Molineux

Friday 14th April 2017, 4.45pm (day 2,059)

Stewards, Molineux, 14/4/17

Molineux is the stadium of Wolverhampton Wanderers who became the latest side that the mighty Brighton & Hove Albion batted aside on their way to the Championship title this season. Well, OK… promotion at least. We’re not there yet but we could be, as early as Monday. I have given up trying to take decent action shots of games, which is impossible a) from the crowd b) with an everyday camera and c) when you care about the result. So here is one taken just before things got started with the 5pm kick off (thank  you, Sky Sports). Of course it would be better if all the lines were straight, but as with other elements of sports photography — it really doesn’t help if you’re confined to one particular seat all evening.

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Applauding the teams out

Thursday 2nd February 2017, 7.45pm (day 1,988)

John Smiths stadium 2/2/17Evening game at the John Smith’s stadium, Huddersfield — but let’s not talk about it past this point. Suffice to say that only here, when the teams were coming out, did we Brighton fans feel particularly optimistic.

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Urban cormorant

Sunday 29th January 2017, 11.40am (day 1,984)

London cormorant, 29/1/17

A lack of cheap hotel rooms in the centre of London led to us staying last night in Stratford, on the doorstep of Olympic Park, venue for the 2012 Games. We went on a walk round there this morning. This counts as East rather than Central London, but is more than urban enough and, as is obvious from this picture, sees the occasional football fan now and again (though not this weekend).

When I first saw this cormorant perched on a post beside the unseen River Lea below, I genuinely thought it was a fake, put there as some vaguely cute piece of urban design when all this was built a few years ago. Then it moved. I wish I could have got a better photo of it — I had another one, a close-up, which made the wings look amazing but the head was out of focus and it didn’t locate it in this bizarre geographical context. I guess if birds like this can turn up in central London we may occasionally be doing something right with the environment.

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Deepdale, Preston

Saturday 14th January 2017, 2.45pm (day 1,969)

Deepdale, 14/1/17

I’ve given up trying to get any truly decent action shots at football matches, I can never do it. With this one I was trying for symmetry and to capture that mother-of-pearl sky. Decent day out today — except for the result. Well, I guess our unbeaten run had to come to an end at some point.

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South stand, the Shay (and new moon)

Sunday 1st January 2017, 4.40pm (day 1,956)

South stand, Shay, 1/1/17

Watching a game in the sixth tier of English football — the National League North — might seem an unusual way to see in 2017, but Joe, me and 2,509 other people decided it was worth doing today; numbers which help explain the strength of the sport in this country. Halifax Town 2, Darlington 2 was the final score, a good game, quite exciting, though from listening to the home fans around Joe and I you’d think it had been a disaster of Iceland v England proportions. I worry that this shot is a bit messy, but I like the crescent moon visible  to top left, so let’s give it a go. I prefer it to most pictures I get at football matches, anyway, even if it is slightly out-of-focus.

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