BWAFC Banners – Bolton@Home

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In a response to recent articles in the media regarding problems of racism in football both on the pitch and from fans, Breightmet Wanderers Athletic Football Club wanted to take part in a march against racism in football. I was asked by Bolton@Home to work with members of the youth teams to design and make banners for them to carry on the march. Before starting work on the designs for the banners, we had an outing to the People’s History Museum in Manchester which has a fabulous collection of protest posters and banners. We also looked at symbols traditionally used in banners to see if we could incorporate any into our designs. Because some of the money had come from the Smart Materials, an expert on smart materials showed us some products and techniques that we could use in our banners such as conductive paint, thread and fabric. We decided that it would be good to have some flashing lights to add emphasis.

Next we gathered to look at the photos we had taken at the People’s History Museum and to make a list of images and phases associated with football that could be used to highlight the issues of racism and discrimination. From these we created the designs. As there are seven youth teams in total, we had to design seven banners. I took the ideas away and created the designs at scale on the computer to make it easier for the groups to make the banners. The first job was to draw up and cut out all the lettering in felt. I printed the BWAFC logo out in a couple of sizes on transfer paper which was then ironed onto felt to go onto the banners. The images were scaled up and cut out. Once all the components were ready, they were laid out on the banners before sticking them down. Channels had been created down the sides for the poles so had to be care not to glue in these areas. Once the banners were complete, I took them away to stitch in the LEDs with conductive thread.

The teams gathered in Breightmet and marched to Bolton town centre with the banners led by Indian drummers. They also displayed them at a local football match. Thank you to all at BWAFC for their hard work and for the photos from the event.