‘World’s smallest sports gallery’ open in Walthamstow

See iconic sports moments transformed into abstract art at CRATE in Walthamstow
By David O’Driscoll

The Goal Hanger Gallery at CRATE (credit: Goal Hanger Gallery)
The Goal Hanger Gallery at CRATE (credit: Goal Hanger Gallery)

When it comes to opening the world’s smallest sports art gallery, Walthamstow was by far the obvious choice. Our community is equal parts arty and football-mad, with MP Stella Creasy regularly spotted in the stands at Walthamstow FC games, and no stranger to cramming big things into small spaces.

The Goal Hanger Gallery, open in CRATE in St James Street, was the silver lining of a sadly-typical pandemic loss. Its founder, designer and artist Richard Horsted, had been using data to turn iconic sports moments into abstract art for some time but only made the leap to full-time after being made redundant from his job at the Press Association at the start of lockdown.

Thankfully the jump was a resounding success and a number of big football names have since purchased his work. These include international footballer Louis Saha, who purchased pieces based on his first goals for Manchester United and France, and ex-Tottenham player Michael Dawson. The famous BBC commentator John Motson, who commentated on over 2000 games, even had a special print made just for him of his favourite-ever goal: Ronnie Redford’s for non-league Hereford against mighty Newcastle United in 1972. 

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Art based on a goal by Stow FC’s Callum Ibe (credit: Goal Hanger Gallery)

Thanks to the easy availability of archive footage, Richard has access to more or less any goal but isn’t willing to let a lack of it get in his way. When the daughter of Sir Stanley Matthews – often regarded as one of the greatest British players and the only one to be knighted while still playing – got in touch about a cherished goal of his for which there was no record, he was able to recreate it just from her memory. 

The space isn’t just for football however – with pieces based on tennis, rugby, cricket, golf and snooker – and it isn’t even just for Richard. Out of a desire to “add to the community”, Richard has also created a space for other local artists to showcase their work. In May, Ruth Batham showcased “Agony & Ecstasy: The trials, tribulations and celebration of football fans”, featuring paintings of fans of her favourite team: West Bromwich Albion. Visitors have a few more days to catch the current exhibition, by Jon-Pauls Balls, or can head down in July to see works by Rosanna Frith-Salem.

As a card-carrying football fanatic, I can assure you it’s well worth a visit.  

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