anthony galvin


At Lords. 

Once in a while there’s something special about taking some time out just for yourself and settling down for an afternoon at Lords. Thanks to everyone who came down for making it a great day out. 

#photo #cricket #sport #stagdo #lords #sun

2011-08-01 09:38:52 GMT permalink

A view of the cultural Olympiad getting underway in Greenwich Park (lo-res pic via iPhone)

#greenwich #photo #iphone #olympics #sport

2008-09-26 18:42:00 GMT permalink

A day at the Test Match, more pictures here

#cricket #sport #photo #oval

2008-08-08 23:25:00 GMT permalink

Life before Betfair

#photo #cricket #sport

2008-07-25 08:03:00 GMT permalink

Or maybe bikes and guitars are just cool

Usually practitioners get better with age (writers, conductors, visual artists, directors etc..). However the shelf life of sportsmen and pop culture musicians (to take the Adorno definition) seems to be relatively short, with a very narrow ‘sweet spot’. They are in many ways the pursuits of 'young people’.

Perhaps this is why a certain type of person (usually men) obsess over sport and (usually obscure) music. It’s a way of holding on to (and in many ways enhancing) a lost adolescence.

#sport #soul

2008-07-25 07:56:00 GMT permalink


A cold afternoon, warmed by the tension of watching my team. My team - a strange phrase. They’re clearly not just mine - on this occasion I’m sharing them with the 700 other people who’ve decided to travel to the less than glamorous Abbey Stadium in Cambridge and pay £15 to sit in the away end (another 2000 or so locals are spread around the rest of the patchwork ground). 

I’m always in the away end, that’s how I started watching them, with my dad at small grounds in the late 80’s and early 90’s. When football wasn’t an all pervasive fashion item that politicians and Hollywood a-listers were required to ‘like’. Not that this game is touched by much glamour. The Blue Square Premier League is a long way from the banal MOTD platitudes and millionaire showboating. 

I don’t go and watch my team very often. For lots of reasons: money, family, geography, time. But one of the main reasons is that I don’t enjoy it. I can watch and enjoy most sport (except motor sport) and I enjoy watching football. But watching my team play is a long way from being a pleasurable experience.

It’s the tension, the stress.

The stress of getting to a ground in a town you don’t know. Arriving, taking a glance at the programme and with the dawning realisation that there isn’t a single player on the team who was playing for the club last time I watched a game. That strange superstition of not sitting down until the referee blows his whistle (I have no idea where that comes from). As the game progresses it gets worse. A knot in the stomach, voice growing hoarse, willing a good result. Those nearly moments - an almost great pass or the ball striking the bar. The collective frustration that pours out of the stands when a basic error is made.

Suddenly the end of the game approaches, nervous glances at my watch. The board held up for a few minutes of added time. Which drains away like the belief in fading light. Perhaps one last change and then the final whistle.

No win today. No end to the run of games without seeing them win. My team. Next time they’ll win. Next time I’ll enjoy it. 

#football #grimsby #cambridge #sport #belief #stress #me

2013-01-27 23:57:00 GMT permalink

Lives of the Artists (2009) - A short review

Dir. Ross Cairns

In ‘Lives of the Artists’, Ross Cairns takes three different, but in his view, related 'artists’. These are not painters or sculptors, but a British and Irish trio of surfers (Tom Lowe, Fergal Smith and Mickey Smith), a French  free-riding snowboarder (Xavier De La Rue) and a hardcore band from Watford (Gallows).

Cairns’ belief is that these disparate creative practitioners, through their commitment, dedication and the passioned execution of their various disciplines are true artists. They are able to communicate in a powerful yet abstract way. This thesis, here beautifully illustrated in high-definition and often in slow-motion, is often found in more cerebral soul sports publications, and when accompanied by such stunning cinematography is persuasive. However, Cairns’ exposition is undermined by his subjects.

To be an artist is to communicate, and all three subjects are communicative, both in their chosen fields and in individual pieces to camera. But to be an artist, as opposed to an aspiring artist, there must be something to communicate, a life lived. Unfortunately, as so often in soul sports and contemporary music, the candidates offered here know too little of life to be genuine artists.

That’s not say that the talents of those on show are not exemplary, and in time they may go on to excel and transcend their individual disciplines, but only Xavier De La Rue is able to suggest something other than committed obsession. In one chilling sequence De La Rue talks of his renewed resolve and love of the mountains after a near fatal avalanche. It’s a moving moment, especially when accompanied by footage of the 'chute’.

Ultimately the film fails to prove the theory. It is a beautifully illustrated and argued point, but perhaps due to budget or sponsors involvement the triptych is uneven. This is unfortunate as Cairns is able to move effortlessly between the disciplines and carefully constructs his narrative. A flawed, but engaging film.

#sport #film #review #boarding #soul #surfing #music

2010-02-07 23:28:39 GMT permalink


Early morning on Thursday 9th August heading East towards Stratford. Excited. The Olympics are in full swing and this is our chance to get involved at the Olympic Park.

We have just 30 minutes to dash across the park towards the Riverbank Arena in time for push back, we make it, and take our seats as the game begins. Argentina against New Zealand playing off for ninth place doesn’t sound like much of an attraction, but this is the Olympics and the crowd are knowledgable, engrossed and enthusiastic.

The sun beats down and by the start of the second half most of the 15,000 seats are full. The game ebbs and flows, but New Zealand seem stronger and faster and in the end run out 3-1 winners.  We break for ice-cream, sun screen and leg stretch before Pakistan and South Korea play off for 7th place. This game is more defensive but still exciting. Pakistan seem more skillful but have a game plan that involves taking minimal risk. In the end they win 3-2. The applause from the crowd is enthusiastic as the players take a lap of honour. Then we file out.

The 15,000 seats and pitch will be modified for the Paralympics and then dismantled and moved to a new location, with a much reduced capacity. The arena is described as temporary. But most sports facilities are in some sense temporary, even if the stands remain they change and evolve - the new Wembley seems to only share a location with the old twin towered stadium. The timeless nature of Lord’s cricket ground is perpetuated by the continuing existence of a single stand, the members only pavilion.

When the game finishes, the crowd leaves and the event is over. Even though the photos live on and the highlights remain on iPlayer, the race, the match, that goal, they only really exist in the moment. The past tense immediately applies.  

Yet these events live on in the memory. That morning at the Olympics will live with me forever, the bright pink and blue pitch seared into my fallible cortex. 


There’s a folk memory of these events that will also survive, like tales of seeing Bradman bat or queuing to watch Reg Harris win at Herne Hill that are passed down through generations.

The scarcity value of a visit to the Olympics and the esteem that the games are held (in spite of the relentless commercial exploitation), means that even when the Riverbank Arena is dismantled and relocated, the exploits of the athletes will live on. The impact of these Olympics, the imprint on my life of that bright morning in August will be permanent.   

#olympics #london2012 #hockey #photo #memory #sport

2012-08-14 21:54:00 GMT permalink

Sunday morning. It’s overcast, but dry. Along the top road at Goathurst Common not far from Sevenoaks, there’s a a gentle hum of rollers and turbos whirring as the riders warm up. A long queue of spectators stretches back from the tea hut and the smell of bacon fat mixes with sweat and embrocation. There’s a good crowd lining the upper slopes of Yorks Hill, 707 yards of gradient, for the 114th Catford Hill Climb. The oldest continuing cycle race in the world brings out all types of riders and plenty of supporters to urge, cheer and cajole them up the viscous climb. There’s an average gradient of 12.5% but with a couple of nasty sections of 25%.
More pictures on flickr.

#cycling #photo #sport

2009-10-11 15:51:00 GMT permalink

Sunday afternoon. Under the silent gaze of the Thames Barrier and the few remaining sites that make it possible to avoid describing Greenwich Peninsula as post industrial, dinghy racers make their maneuvers. Greenwich Yacht Club is a hidden gem, tucked away near what is corporately known as the O2. It’s a friendly, welcoming place, with a cracking bar and amazing views, especially on bright autumn days.

It’s also another example of how London and especially SE London is hard to categorise. The mainstream media routinely fail to understand or connect with this part of London. In a couple of years the Olympics will be taking place just over the river from the yacht club. The rowing and sailing events will be taking place a long way from the east of London (at Windsor and the Solent). It probably wouldn’t be possible to hold all of the Olympic events on this stretch of the Thames - but I’m sure some of the events could take place within the M25.

More pics on flickr.

#greenwich #london #olympics #photo #sport

2009-10-04 18:19:00 GMT permalink

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