A simple image, a subtle shift. Three white lines arranged just so become an instantly recognizable symbol. Whatever the wider context, whether they are either end of a village green pitch, or in the grander surroundings of a professional stadium, the purpose of these structures is always clear. The goalposts never move.
I see football pitches in much the same way as I see a theatre. The action is played out, holding the audience rapt. There are moments of high drama, struggles for power, laughter and, sometimes, tears. There’s also a parallel to be drawn with places of worship, the spectacle of the players along with the participation of the audience chanting and singing along allows one to enter a heightened, almost euphoric state at times. Football in this sense is utterly transformative – as all great art should be.
Some pitches were the stages on which the greatest games were played by the greatest players; others are now left abandoned, the posts stand as only as a reminder of what once was … Either way, whether grand or grassroots, what they represent is the same – the greatest game in the world.