This Is England

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This Is England

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Date(s) - 19/01/2023 - 19/02/2023
10:30 am - 4:00 pm

Guildhall Art Gallery
Guildhall Yard,

Event Description

Following the 2022 World Cup, Black British artist Matt Small’s This Is England is on display at Guildhall Art Gallery, showcasing the diversity of the England football squad – the most successful England men’s team since the 1966 World Cup winners.  Commissioned by the FA at the start of the Euros 2020 (held in 2021), 27 portraits by Small present the football players and manager that represented England at the Euros, highlighting and celebrating the multi-racial team, many of whom recently played at the World Cup.


Players featured in This Is England include captain Harry Kane, rising talents Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham, star players Marcus Rashford MBE, Raheem Sterling MBE and Jack Grealish, and stalwart defenders Kyle Walker and Reece James, all alongside their manager Gareth Southgate OBE.  The exhibition captures the proud, celebratory and hopeful spirit of the players, and English football more generally.


Small is a passionate believer in social inclusion, and his energetic and dynamic portraits often depict the young, homeless and socially marginalized to encourage viewers to consider those who are often overlooked and face prejudice.  His portraits of the England players show a group of men, many of whom have faced racial prejudice and abuse in their journey to the top of the game and are using their platform to stand up against it, who are role models and inspiration for millions across the country.


The racial diversity of the Three Lions at the Euros in 2021, and subsequently the World Cup, was widely lauded, especially following football’s response to Black Lives Matter, with players across the Premier League and international football showing their support by taking the knee at kick off.  While the exhibition celebrates the diversity of the team, it also highlights how important it is to keep striving for racial justice and equality, as was seen after England’s loss in the Euros where Black players were unjustly abused online due to the colour of their skin. This Is England aims to celebrate the players, their inspiring stories, and how they represent and inspire a diverse and modern England.


Half of the 26-man Euros squad could have chosen to represent another nation, with a multitude of different cultures and heritages represented in the squad, including Jamaica, Ireland, New Zealand, Barbados and more.  The other players presented in This Is England are Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, John Stones, Conor Coady, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, Ben Chilwell, Kieran Trippier, Harry Maguire, Ben White, Jordan Pickford, Sam Johnstone and Dean Henderson.

Event Contact Information

Website Address:
Contact Telephone Number: 020 7332 3700

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