You don’t need much for a game of football: a couple of jumpers, a ball and a few pairs of feet. Football is a game that can and is played everywhere. No matter how unwelcoming the background, there’s something about the game that makes everything else fade away. And for the boys of RFC Huy, in a moment captured by Belgium photographer Jurgen Vantomme, that background is the cooling tower of a Nuclear Power Station which has been reportedly leaking radioactive water since 2006.
This startling image is one of many stark football pitches photographed by Vantomme and his work is featuring as part of a wider exhibition, opening this weekend, at Pitzhanger Manor House in Ealing, marking the 100th anniversary of the legendary 1914 Christmas Truce football match between British and German soldiers during World War I, which reminds us that actually, radiation risks aside, RFC Huy, like the rest of us, have much to be thankful for.
Vantomme's pictures, along with the rest of the Crossing the Field exhibition can be seen from this weekend until the 10th of January at the Pitzhanger Manor House in Ealing.