The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.

We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.

Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.

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Footballers Paint Pictures for Charity, and You Can Own the Results

The Willow Foundation is a charity founded by former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson to provide “special days” for seriously ill young people. They’re currently holding a fundraiser by auctioning celebrity paintings on eBay, and as you might expect, a lot of the paintings are by footballers. Some of them had help from a professional artist, while others just took up the brush and let their souls flow through it. (Frank Lampard painted his own shirt.) Here’s a gallery of the footballers’ artworks, with a couple of observations and a Genuine Celebrity Bonus.


Michael Ballack


Frank Lampard


Jamie Redknapp


Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa


Nicklas Bendtner [NOTE: Bendtnder has simply signed a children’s football illustration. But at least he found one that looks like him.]


Tony Adams


Arsène Wenger [NOTE: I am seriously thinking about buying this.]


Cesc Fàbregas


Nicolas Anelka & Paulo Ferreira [How did they decide to collaborate? I would have expected Anelka to go in alone and, scowling, quickly produce some gothic street version of the Egyptian hieroglyphic for “ruler.”]


Theo Walcott [Note the relative lack of conviction compared to the sun drawn by Fàbregas. The difference between an English childhood and a Spanish childhood has seldom been so poignantly expressed.]


Theo Walcott (2)


Ian Wright


Harry Redknapp [Like Nicklas Bendtner above, Harry Redknapp has chosen to autograph a Bang on the Door illustration. Also like Nicklas Bendtner, he has found one that looks a lot like Nicklas Bendtner.]


Gary Mabbutt


Barrie Mitchell [A Roy of the Rovers illustrator]


Your Genuine Celebrity Bonus

Matt Damon [NOTE: Tell us what you think of Tottenham, Matt. No, go on, tell us.]


Bid on the paintings here. Fàbregas and Wenger are looking pricey at the moment, but it’s for a good cause. And Jamie Redknapp is going for a song. . .

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Footballers Paint Pictures for Charity, and You Can Own the Results

by Brian Phillips · December 5, 2008

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