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Hackney football fan’s phantom goalpost painting project

PUBLISHED: 22:52 05 October 2011

Shaun Clohessy has been painting inspiring football themed messages on the goalposts in Wilmer Gardens, Hoxton.

Shaun Clohessy has been painting inspiring football themed messages on the goalposts in Wilmer Gardens, Hoxton.

Archant

A Hackney football fan who risked arrest to paint the borough’s goalposts behind the backs of town hall bosses has won their seal of approval.

Shaun Clohessy hopes to brighten up 90 football pitches in Hackney’s parks and housing estates.

He has been painting goalposts white – without permission of the authorities – and decorating the crossbars with inspiring messages encouraging young people to reach their goals.

The 39-year-old, of Brett Road, Hackney Central, has already started 20 sites, including the council-owned Trelawney and Frampton Park estates, South Millfields park and Stonebridge park.

“I grew up in Hackney and used to play football in a cage,” said Shaun.

“But what you find nowadays is that goalposts are delivered in a dark or dull colour. So I set out to correct this.

“The project is more about community activism than artwork. It’s about making a difference. I do not think I am doing anything unlawful - I am completing a job someone else has not.”

But Shaun, an artist and a handyman, stepped over the line on Friday morning when a manager at the Whitmore Estate in Hoxton, run by Canalside Housing Partnership, blew the whistle.

A spokesman for Canalside said: “He did not ask permission before drawing his artwork and failed to explain why he was doing this, we followed procedure and contacted the police.”

A spokesman for Hackney police said officers were called to the estate and “words of advice were given to the gentleman concerned”.

But now Canalside managers have decided to invite Shaun to paint the posts at another estate. And town hall bosses also revealed they wanted to work with him in the future.

Cllr Feryal Demirci, cabinet member for safer neighbourhoods, applauded the artist, saying: “We will be contacting Sean shortly, and hope to work more closely with him from now on.”

And town hall bosses also revealed they wanted to work with him in the future.

Cllr Feryal Demirci, cabinet member for safer neighbourhoods, applauded the artist, saying: “We will be contacting Sean shortly, and hope to work more closely with him from now on.”

She said permission must be sought before such projects.

Shaun applies two coats of £63-a-can metal paint before adding the quotes – such as Martin Luther King’s “The time is always right to do what is right”.

His work has proved polpular with residents living nearby the pitches.

Ashley Walters, 18, of Carlisle Walk, Dalston, said: “It makes it better for the kids. It’s a nice thing to do but I don’t think it will be noticed that much. It will only be the older generations who think it should be got rid of.”

And Jason Shaw, 30, of Queensbridge Road, said: “It’s a good idea – it’s probably helping out the council. He’s giving something back to the community.

What do you think?


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