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Footballers who also tried their hands at art - FAD Magazine

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FAD Magazine covers contemporary art – News, Exhibitions and Interviews reported on from London

Footballers who also tried their hands at art

It has often been said that footballers are not very clever and they are only good at kicking a ball around for 90 minutes. However, many footballers are starting to break this mold and some, over the years, have used their skills to produce art or even judge art as they try and perfect their competitive skills in a different direction.

Face 2001, the painting by Andreas “Zecke” Neuendorf

It can be hard for footballers to express an interest in something like art due to stereotypes and the fear of judgment but these footballers did not care and decided to do it anyway. Whilst some ex-professionals promote new betting offers there are others that turned to art. Who are they though?

  1. David James

The former England goalkeeper was well known for being eccentric and breaking away from the traditional normalities of a footballer’s life. Rather than sit around playing video games or endless hours of golf, James would take himself off and go and paint something. It could be any landscape that interested him but he would invest the time and change his mentality to prepare for a game by being calm and at one with the landscape.

  1. Eduardo Chillida

A short career in football but the Basque sculptor needed to change his career path after a serious knee injury halted his promising career with Real Sociedad. Instead, he would be well known for his human form sculptures which focus on the torso. He rejected the claim he was an abstract artist but preferred the term realist sculptor. 

  1. Jody Craddock 

The former Wolves and Sunderland defender painted throughout his career and rather than get “any stick” from his teammates they actually asked him to paint portraits of them; he would even make a few extra quid! Craddock is still painting to this day and sells his art mostly using acrylics. 

  1. Owain Fon Williams

The former Wales goalkeeper turned goalkeeping coach has painted some fantastic paintings inspired by his Welsh heritage. With paintings from Wales’ football glory, football stadiums, and Welsh miners, he has created quite a following and a collection at that. 

Like many footballers he does not do it for the money but more for the love of creating art so that people can enjoy his work. 

  1. Rudi Kargus

It must be something about goalkeepers and art. The former Hamburg and Nuremberg goalkeeper has had a love for painting but became an active artist in 1996.  In 2018, his work was exhibited in the Feinkunst Krüger gallery in the city. He has apinted lots of football scenery but he does not exclusively just paint sporting activities. 

  1. Andreas Neuendorf

I am not sure if Neuendorf painted because he wanted to or as a rebellious act against the German FA. The former Hertha Berlin man wanted to have the name “Zecke” as his official name on his short after he was given the nickname by team-mate Ulf Kirsten when he was at Bayer Leverkusen. The reason why he was called Zecke was that Neuendorf fell ill from a tick bite.

The German FA refused so he decided to paint pictures so that his name would be common in that regard. He sold two paintings and one still stands today Tagesspiegel building.

  1. Petar Borota

What a surprise, another goalkeeper! The former Chelsea man was an active painter whilst he was still playing with his work exhibited in London in 1981. The Yugoslavian international was known for his abstract work and would have his work displayed in Belgrade.

However, Borota saw the dark side of art as well as he was caught up in an art theft ring of Paja Jovanovi? paintings and served a six-month spell in investigative detention.

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