Goalkeepers are nuts, everyone knows that, and the exhibition at the Getty Images gallery (which I found by accident but am glad I did) will convince no one otherwise. The only downside to such a prejudice-confirming collection comes via the sponsorship. It’s by e-on. Nothing wrong with that per se but when it’s framed with text such as “goalkeepers are famed for making great saves … and e-on helps you make great savings on your energy” you want to get all Bill Hicks on the marketing scribe that put it together.
Clunking commerciality aside, Life Between the Sticks is a show of two halves – I’ll get me coat – with one wall given over to massive head shots of famous goalies photographed now, some years after their hey day. They’re the quality standard black n white light out of dark see all the stubble type shots (shot by Tom Stoddard) and brought together are Shilts, Banksy, Dave Beasant and a couple of others. They look good, as you’d expect given that you’re on Getty territory.
The other half – the remaining walls – are amateur and pro snaps of goalkeepers taken across the season. David James and Peter Cech have their own mini sections and there’s a pleasing mix of action and some more comical turns. My favourite is a keeper bending down to scoop the ball out of the net at a non league ground – a mere yard from the supporters who are taking it all in. It’s the kind of thing you don’t get when there are 20 yards and a phalanx of stewards between spectators and players.
All in all it’s a diverting little show and I’ll be looking forward to accidentally stumbling upon the Getty gallery again soon.