Recently finished a cracking commission from the guys at Pro:Direct – a Roberto Baggio illustrated comic, to help launch Diadora’s new Baggio ‘Matchwinner’ football boots. Began with a dramatic front cover of Roberto in classic Azzurri colours…

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Inside was a double page spread featuring Roberto’s many career highlights, including Ballon D’Or 1993…

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Serie A champions with Juve 1994/95 & Milan 1995/96…

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Here’s full spread…

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and the back page detailed Roberto coming to the Pro:Direct flagship store LDN19 in London to launch the new boots…

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Brilliant job, & I loved doing it, but that was only half of it, because my wife & I were also invited to the launch event. There were printed copies of Baggio comics all round the store…

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the in-store graphics & interactive touch screens were also based on the comic illustrations…

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Football Italia TV presenter James Richardson hosted an entertaining Q & A session in front of a packed out audience…

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and then the best bit, I got to present the man himself with a framed print – which he graciously accepted – whether he actually liked it or not!

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Had a fantastic time from start to finish, with massive thanks to Scott & Ned at Pro:Direct

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This drawing tells the story of the greatest day in Coventry City’s history, when the Sky Blues beat Tottenham Hotspur, in the 1987 Wembley FA Cup Final. The headline was inspired by the Coventry Cup Final Song, not bad as footy songs go I reckon! (Thanks to Covonthebox!)

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Story begins with manager John Sillet leading the Sky Blues out at Wembley. Despite Spurs being hot favourites, boasting Glenn Hoddle, Chris Waddle & Ossie Ardiles in their side, Coventry ran out well deserved winners, 3-2 after extra time. Action concentrates on the 3 Coventry goals, beginning with Dave Bennett, scorer of the first equaliser top right…

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moving on to Keith Houchen’s iconic diving header, one of Wembley’s most spectacular FA Cup goals, which levelled the score at 2-2…

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followed by Gary Mabbutt’s own goal in extra time. Final frame shows triumphant Sky Blues skipper Brian Kilcline lifting the famous old trophy, flanked by Cyrille Regis & keeper Steve Ogrizovic.

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** The finished drawing is available as an Art Print (from A5 to A2 size) at my PRINTSHOP

Here’s one of Wembley’s greatest ever Cup Final goals – Keith Houchen’s iconic diving header for Coventry City against Spurs in the 1987 FA Cup Final. Decided to crank the action right up, as befits such a magnificent goal…

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Began with this pen & brush drawing, before adding digital colour…

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Drawn Keith Houchen in mid-air diving towards us, from a low viewpoint behind Spurs keeper Ray Clemence, which helps add drama…

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Also used speech bubbles & typography to help the action along. That’s Coventry’s Micky Gynn & Cyrille Regis, in the background, and Spurs defender Chris Hughton on the far right…

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** The finished drawing is available as a print (from A5 to A2 size) at my PRINTSHOP

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Thought hard about this print. I wanted to illustrate Jimmy in characteristic dribbling action  – ball on his toe & perfectly balanced to spin either way – so that became the main image…

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but I also wanted to show him beating defenders tackles, shooting for goal, and celebrating a goal, so they became small vignettes…

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Decided to draw Jimmy with socks around his ankles, like he’s been buzzing around all game. Also added some of the trophies Jimmy won at Celtic – he won many more but I ran out of room!

Last thing was to add Jimmy’s own words, “I was always an entertainer. The pitch was my stage, the whistle meant it was showtime,” which sums him up perfectly.

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*Jimmy Johnstone Print available HERE!

*Thanks to thecelticwiki for lots of Jimmy Johnstone info & images!

Coming up: Print 4 – Celtic Lisbon Lions Champions ’67

Viewed loads of photos of the 1967 European Cup final (see thecelticwiki ) but couldn’t find any featuring all eleven Celtic parading the trophy on the pitch – maybe this never happened due to hundreds of celebrating fans invading the pitch? Anyway, I decided to rectify this, and throw in manager Jock Stein for good measure!

Grouped the players around central figures of captain Billy McNeill & Jock Stein holding up the European Cup trophy. Also wanted goal scorers Tommy Gemmell & Steve Chalmers to be prominent…

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and also legendary winger Jimmy Johnstone. Tried to make the players poses and expressions convey both pride & togetherness – I’ve read they were a close knit bunch, and that was a big factor in their success…

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I’ve included Jock Stein’s words, “Winning is important, aye, but our objective is to win with style,” because Inter Milan’s approach was the exact opposite, taking an early lead in the final and trying to see the game out – fortunately Celtic ensured their negative tactics failed.

I struggled to find pictures of keeper Ronnie Simpson looking happy, so that’s why he looks a bit solemn despite having just won the biggest prize in European football!

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*Celtic Lisbon Lions Print available HERE!

*Thanks again to thecelticwiki for their comprehensive info & pictures.

Coming up: Print 3 – Jimmy Johnstone action portrait…

On This Day artwork in the Wembley matchday programme for tomorrow’s England v Lithuania World Cup qualifier (Sunday 26 March). OTD feature goes back to Spain v England in 1980. England captain was Kevin Keegan (a Hamburg player at that time), he’d just collected his second Ballon D’Or, and was wearing his bubble perm…

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England striker Tony Woodcock (Cologne then) scored the three lions’ first goal after a long solo run…

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and his ex-colleague at Nottingham Forest, Trevor Francis, fired in the second…

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Here’s the finished page…

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Good luck to Gareth Southgate’s boys on Sunday!

 

This print combines elements from Print 1, the decorative ‘Champions ’67’ song lyrics…

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and the triumphant Lisbon Lions team group illustration from Print 2…

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into a new alternative design.

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*Celtic Lisbon Lions Champions ’67 Print available HERE!

*Thanks to thecelticwiki for comprehensive selection of info & photos!