Thursday, 30 May 2013

Faces in the Crowd 1961/1962

Here are fourteen fascinating glimpses of football spectators taken during Leyton Orient's remarkable 1961/1962 campaign which saw the then Second Division team from North East London promoted to the top flight of English football for their first and only time.

Every week between November 1961 and April 1962 these rather grainy pictures were published in the official programme (Price 6d), and three fans who had been circled in white would win a pair of tickets to the next match.

These photographs of football fans taken just over half a century ago are very unusual. These are not the kind of images that were taken as traditional documentary or publicity shots. They are simply the faces of ordinary people standing on the terraces of a football match snapped by a local newspaper photographer. The addition of the three crudely drawn white circles turn these innocent-looking images into rather haunting compositions.

Were these faces all randomly picked out of the crowd - or perhaps one or two of the regulars were known to the editor of the programme?
Where are the Leather Boys? Spot the the two (uncircled) bikers wearing their motorcycle helmets and goggles
This was the original caption that accompanied the crowd photos. The name of the opposition (in brackets) was changed every week
wave to the photographer and you've definitely got yourself a pair of free tickets

Above and below are the same photo - printed on two consecutive matches but with different faces circled

a bit tricky spotting the three white circles in this one!

...and what happened to the white ink in this very last crowd pic of the season? Did the chap with the flat cap (right hand side) even get to recognise himself?

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