Alex Amorós: Wembley back in business

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London based photojournalist Alex Amorós joins the supporters as Wembley emerged from the nightmare of lockdown to host the closing stages of Euro 2020 in the summer of 2021.

England, of course, were there. So, too, eventual winners Italy as they somehow sandwiched in a European tournament triumph between two miserable barren World Cup campaigns that have once again seen the Italians fail to qualify.

England fans. Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
Amorós captures the jubilant scenes as the fans flocked back to the national stadium in the first major sporting event post pandemic. Copyright: Alex Amorós

For Alex Amorós those big Wembley occasions provided the perfect flip side to a photographic journey that had taken in the London clubs starved of their supporters during lockdown.

England fans. Wembley stadium.Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
Copyright: Alex Amorós

Now his pictures feature in a 72 page fanzine, Live At Wembley 21, which he includes within the rest of his material in a new 140 page photo book, LFF 20/21, where he turns his attention on sides throughout London and how they and their fans faced up to a new season post pandemic.

England fans. Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
Copyright: Alex Amorós

Says Spanish born Alex: “Live At Wembley 21 is a collection of photos taken at both the semi-finals and final of the Euros at Wembley. 

“It shows the contradiction between the empty stadiums of LFF 20/21 to one of the biggest events that can happen in world football.”

Gladiator, Italy fanWembley stadium, Euro 2020.

Copyright: Alex Amorós

Clearly, Alex was able to get the contrast just right, witnessing once “eerily empty and silent stadiums now once again buzzing with anticipation”.

“Wembley was the first large-scale event after the pandemic, ” he said, “and I wanted to document the explosion of emotions”.

Recalls Alex:” After the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the Premier League in 2019 and 2020, the new season began with the stadium doors closed once again.”.

England fans. Wembley stadium. Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
Copyright: Alex Amorós
England wig. Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
Copyright: Alex Amorós
England fans. Wembley stadium. Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
Copyright: Alex Amorós

His initial project captured fans and stadiums from clubs in the capital that have been part of the old First Division or Premier League.

Fans from Arsenal, Brentford, Chelsea, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leyton Orient, Millwall, Queens Park Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur And West Ham United came under the spotlight, with the whole project shot on film to invoke feelings of nostalgia from a bygone era, Alex explained. 

England fans. Wembley stadium. Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
England fans. Wembley stadium. A collection of photos taken at both the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 at Wembley. Copyright: Alex Amorós

“It is my belief that film is the only medium that can truly capture the raw passion of the 12th Man, the crowd, ” he said.

“The spirit of Football lies in the fact that it is for everyone.”

England fans. Wembley stadium. Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
England fans. Wembley stadium. A collection of photos taken at both the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 at Wembley. Copyright: Alex Amorós

He is donating five per cent of profits from sales to the Cruyff Foundation, who support and develop impactful sports projects for children with special needs, while a similar sum also goes to the Bobby Moore Fund which raises money for pioneering bowel cancer.

England fans. Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
England fans. A collection of photos taken at both the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 at Wembley. Copyright: Alex Amorós

Said Alex: ” The project arose with the idea of giving fans a voice during the pandemic. I had done other documentary and music projects, but I had not done anything for a long time with football and I considered that this was the moment. 

“Documenting through photography is showing and freezing in time through scenes of everyday life something that can no longer be repeated and that is something that fascinates me.

Italy and England fans. Wembley stadium.Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
Copyright: Alex Amorós
Italy fans. Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
Copyright: Alex Amorós
Italy fan, gladiator. Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
Copyright: Alex Amorós

“Football is culture and is integrated into communities. For many people it is something very important. Through the feelings and thoughts of the people we can show the importance of football in their lives.”

“I love the fans of football in the United Kingdom and the loyalty to their teams, however small they may be.”

Alex Alex Amorós knows they are the “soul of their clubs”.

Spain fans. Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
Copyright: Alex Amorós
Spain fans. Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
Copyright: Alex Amorós
England changing room. Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
Inside the England changing room, Wembley. Copyright: Alex Amorós
Sir Bobby Moore statue. Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
The Sir Bobby Moore statue, stands outside Wembley. Copyright: Alex Amorós
Wembley stadium, Euro 2020.
Copyright: Alex Amorós

His pictures make the point perfectly, while his fanzine, Live At Wembley 21, captures the moment the fans finally returned. “An explosion of emotions”, he remembers.

Wembley was buzzing. Football had woken from hibernation. And Alex Amorós was there to record it.

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