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THE ARTIST The job: Club artist, Middlesbrough Name: Richard Piers Rayner Age: 59
Not many clubs have an artist – how did you get this gig? This will be my 10th year at Boro. I was at a match against Sheffield Wednesday years and years ago – we won 1-0 but Juninho missed a penalty, I remember – and there was an advert in the programme for an artist in residence. The Arts Council were looking to place artists in unusual places at the time and I supposed an artist at a football club was a bit of a novelty.
Your background is in comics; you had just been working on the Road to Perdition graphic novel. This was a bit of a departure, wasn’t it? You could say that. Road to Perdition was coming out and I was looking for something different so I applied for the Boro job and got it. At the start I would do a little picture in the programme – nothing bigger than a postage stamp size to begin with – then I got my own page and it just developed.
I also did Steve McClaren a lot too. With McClaren I had to capture his natural good looks! With Gareth it was a slightly different challenge.
What’s the biggest thrill of the job? I grew up in the Jack Charlton era and I’ve been a Boro fan my whole life. They say never meet your heroes but all the players I’ve come across from that time are true gents. I went to the Hollywood premiere of Road to Perdition and met people like Tom Hanks and Sam Mendes, but I’ve never been so nervous as the time I went to my first old players’ association meeting. Mind you, Hanks didn’t have a clue about Boro – I’ve heard he’s a Villa fan.
What are you doing now? I’m working on Middlesbrough FC: The Unseen History book. As the job evolved the thing that really got my interest,
really stoked the fires, was when the club approached me and
“I did Steve McClaren a lot. I had to capture his good looks!”
asked me to reconstruct pictures of the old
Linthorpe Road Ground because there are no known photos of it. We had the architectural schematics of it and that really started everything off. I’ve still got plenty of ideas – there’s a lot of work still to do.
North ic ture
Who was the first player you drew? Curtis Fleming – a black and white pen and ink sketch. The first game I went to in an official capacity was his testimonial.
Which figure at Boro have you drawn most? Probably Gareth Southgate, although
Juninho spoiled Richard’s first day in the job by missing a pen
Fan vs Player Colchester United
Duncan Jenkinson Recruitment consultant Karl Duguid The U’s prodigal son
Q: Let’s begin at the beginning: in what decade did Colchester United join the Football League for the first time? DJ: It was 1950, so the ’50s. KD: The ’50s.
Q: Colchester have never reached the top flight, but what is their highest ever placing in the second tier? DJ: 9th. It was 10th? And Karl got it? B******s. KD: [instantly] 10th. Fond memories.
Q: Who holds the all-time appearance record for The U’s? DJ: Mick Walker. You don’t sound like I got it right... he’s second? Give me half a point! KD: Micky Cook. I don’t think I’ll beat him.
Q: Who scored the first goal in Colchester’s 7-1 demolition of Norwich in August 2009? DJ: Kevin Lisbie. I was at that game! KD: Er...Clive Platt? Great result – until Norwich took Paul Lambert.
Q: Who has more competitive wins in head-to-heads between Colchester and Southend? DJ: I’ve got to say Colchester, haven’t I? KD: Southend. I won? Brilliant!
4-2 Player wins!
26 October 2011 FourFourTwo.com