Through The Lens – Sunderland AFC 1898

Through The Lens - 1898

Through The Lens today takes a look at a rare glimpse of how Sunderland AFC were reported in the media in the 19th century.

A click on the image above will take you to a blow up of the first page of an article that appeared in The Golden Penny, a periodical of the time. It often featured football clubs and this one featured The Lads.

It gives a brief history of the club together with some cracking and rare images of both the team and individual players.


Check back in a couple of days and I’ll feature page 2 of the article.

Football Art – John Thirtle

John Thirtle Watercolour

The Football Match

Continuing my look at football art I thought I’d feature the work of John Thirtle today.

JOHN L. THIRTLE FRSA (1899-1982) was an English artist and illustrator. He hailed from Middlesex. He first exhibited in 1933 and was commended by the Queen (later the Queen Mother) and Princess Marina Duchess of Kent. He was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society Of Arts in 1948. Thirtle also illustrated books for Faber And Faber LTD.

As well as the above Thirtle was well known for his “real life” and “landscape” paintings but like numerous artists he couldn’t help dabbling in football! I am told that he was a Queens Park Rangers fan and although you may not be able to tell that from today’s featured watercolour you will instantly recognise his allegiance when I reveal the other 6 from his football collection.

Its hard to put a date on Thirtle’s footballing work but my best guess is around 1940.

His work is superb and the full size images of his football creations are simply stunning. The watercolour above was untitled. I have simply called it “The Football Match”.

Through The Lens – Sunderland v Red Star Belgrade 1951

65 red star 2

To celebrate recovery from the Second World War the Festival of Britain took place in May 1951, with a number of uplifting events. Included was a series of football matches. Sunderland AFC’s contribution to the festivities was a friendly against crack Yugoslav side Red Star Belgrade at Roker Park, a game that the hosts would win 1-0 with a goal from Ivor Broadis after 34 minutes. Here we see the Red Star President Mita Miljkovi_ signing an agreement of friendship with the Lord Mayor (Sir) Jack Cohen in attendance as well as Sunderland manager Bill Murray and the club chairman Stanley Ritson. The Red Star representatives include the manager, Ljubiša Broćić.

Sporting Art – Arthur Thiele

Arthur Thiele, Leipzig, Germany, 1860 to 1936

A Dangerous Cross

Arthur Thiele was born in Leipzig, Germany on 2 November 1860 and from a very early age had a talent for painting. In time he became famous for painting cartoon images of cats, believe it or not, but his most stunning work he saved for the late 1920’s when he painted a series of six superb football scenes.

the image above is entitled “”eine gefährliche flanke” or “a dangerous cross” in English. Thiele died in June 1936, leaving his work a s alasting tribute to his talent.

I will feature the rest of Thiele’s football work over the coming days and weeks.