Search icon


15th Sep 2016

Gift Of A Goal – The talented artists making football into art in the name of charity

The beautiful game

Nooruddean Choudry

O jogo bonito – the beautiful game. Never has Pele’s romanticised description of football seemed more apt.

At the start of the season, a group of diehard football fans who also happen to be ridiculously talented artists of varied styles, decided to do something special for the new 2016/17 campaign. They started Gift Of A Goal.

Mathew Vieira, Van Hong, Lesley Ross, Richard Swarbrick, Hanna Jones and Matt Pascoe banded together to combine their talents in order to raise money for two charities very close to their hearts.

The aim was to create a piece of art out of each and every goal scored by their favourite Premier League sides, in return for donations to their fundraising page in aid of The Willow foundation and The Robin Cancer Trust.

We may only be a handful of games into the season, but already the quality of work being produced by the sextet – under the Wundergol banner – is truly outstanding. It is a credit to both their craft and the generosity of their time and effort.

Vieira (Arsenal), Hong (Liverpool), Ross (Man City), Swarbrick (Spurs), Jones (Man United) and Pascoe (Chelsea) are together producing a quite exceptional and unique document of the season – and we thought we’d find out a bit more.

If the collective is like an artistic Avengers, then the Hawkeyes of the operation is Hanna May, who happens to be a Preston North End fan sketching the goals of Manchester United. We caught up with her in leafy Tollesbury

So what’s Gift Of A Goal all about then?

It’s essentially six artists illustrating every single league goal scored by their nominated Premier League club this season, to raise money for The Willow Foundation and the Robin Cancer Trust, both charities that aim to impact 16-35 year olds.

And what made you choose those charities in particular?

Willow is a charity dedicated to organising special days for seriously ill young adults, whilst the RCT aims to raise awareness of germ cell cancers in 16-35 year olds. Both foundations support young adults in need of help, and it’s a demographic that is often overlooked when it comes to charitable donations from the public.

Cool. In terms of your involvement, why choose Manchester United?

Despite being a committed Preston fan, I see United as my second club these days and watch every single game. I live in Tollesbury now [a village near Colchester] but used to live in Old Trafford, a matter of miles away from the stadium. I loved walking through it every day, and when I draw, it makes me feel as if I’m not so far away from it.

The boyfriend [Bifurcated correspondent Tom McGhee] is a big United fan so he’s always excited when United score, but then like “Ooooh this means you draw for hours?” 

How are you finding it so far? How long does each goal tend to take?

For me, most drawings take around 2-3 hours, although I know that’s not consistent across all the artists involved! It’s going alright so far – but I know full well a 5-goal thriller is on the cards any game now.

Do you have any favourite players whom you like to draw in particular?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – he’s a God. I love drawing him, and there’s been ample opportunity to do so in the past few weeks. I’ve drawn a lot of Wayne Rooney in the past too, although I’m looking forward to a few more players getting into the mix. But yeah, that’ll probably be the name of my autobiography: Illustrating Zlatan…

Where can we see the art created by yourself and the rest of the team all in one place?

We’re in the process of putting together a dedicated website – everyone has day jobs – but if you search the #GiftOfAGoal hashtag on Twitter, you’ll be able to peruse through our work so far. It’s also worth following Wundergol and our individual Twitter accounts.

Are there any plans to exhibit your combined works at the end of the season?

Yeah! We’re hoping to organise some exhibitions over the summer in London, Manchester and Liverpool – and possibly even New York. We’ve got some ideas about presenting the artwork collections to the respective clubs too, although nothing is finalised as of yet.

Excellent. Well good luck for the rest of the season…

Thanks! And don’t forget to donate if you like our stuff for Gift Of A Goal, via the donation page.