Soccer Shots: Stephen Shakeshaft's football photos

23 November 2001 to 17 February 2002

Please note that this exhibition has now closed

'Soccer Shots: Stephen Shakeshaft's football photos' featured over 100 behind the scenes pictures at Everton and Liverpool. For four decades, the award-winning photographer has followed the fortunes Merseyside's footballing giants, enjoying a unique insider's perspective.

Past and present favourites from Dixie Dean to Michael Owen were featured alongside the clubs' stalwart communities - including fans, friends, players, managers and even the grounds' cleaners.

The exhibition charted the game's progress from the days of the 'Boot Room' strategy to today's multi-million pound industry. Club celebrations, agonising match tensions and moments of quiet reflection were all been captured on camera.

close up of footballer's head as he lies on the grass with his hands on his head looking miserable

Bob Latchford sustains an injury at Trafford Park.
Photograph copyright of Stephen Shakeshaft, Liverpool Daily Post & Echo.

Stephen, who is chief photographer on the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo, feels privileged to have gained unlimited access to the clubs' coaches, changing rooms, and hotels. He has covered three of Liverpool's European Cup Finals, as well as Everton's European Cup Winner's Cup success in Rotterdam.

"I was fortunate to travel around and feel part of the team - you got a different perspective and I think you see it in the exhibition pictures. I travelled all over Europe with the teams and knew much-loved managers such as Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Howard Kendall."

The creation of the Premiership meant that access to the top teams became more strictly managed.

Despite his forty years on the touchline, Stephen has never developed an allegiance to either Liverpool or Everton. He is interested in football purely as a subject matter, which means when the crowds are celebrating, he focuses on capturing their reactions:

"Everybody else in the crowd, maybe forty to fifty thousand people are all cheering and going mad and the photographer is just sitting there very still, just looking around and weighing it up."

Man lying on a bed with an enormous silver trophy

Kenny Daglish in bed with the European Cup.
Photograph copyright of Stephen Shakeshaft, Liverpool Daily Post & Echo.

There have been dramatic developments in the field of photography since Stephen started taking pictures in 1966. Digital cameras and telephoto lenses have taken the place of glass-plate negatives and the later twin-lensed Rolleiflexes.

"From standing in a dark room with an enlarger and chemicals and drying a print over a gas fire after the print has been out through methylated spirits, I am now looking at a picture actually landing on the computer screen in front of me. It couldn't be more different."

Photographs by Stephen Shakeshaft, Liverpool Daily Post & Echo. Images may not be reproduced without prior permissions.

Soccer Shots was sponsored by Jarvis plc, the international facilities management group.