On Saturday, March 14, a photograph exhibition was due to be unveiled on the Thatchers’ Big Bank as part of the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Supporters’ Trust.
However, in this four-part series, museum officer Will Barrett took the time to talk us through the photos he chose. Below are his thoughts photos from 2015 to 2019.
This photo is about the emergence of Ollie Watkins and this another youth and experience picture. What we liked about it was that it is from Ollie Watkins’ goal against Port Vale, in the FA Cup second round match at St James Park, and it has also got a former FA Cup finalist in the picture with Matt Oakley. It is also nice that Crealy, one of our loyal sponsors have their billboard in the background. They have done a lot of work helping set up our Junior Grecians Lounge and they are a massively important part of the Trust model as all Junior Grecians automatically becoming Trust members and, hopefully, the future of Exeter City Football Club.
I think this is one of the most cheerful moments in the whole display, because nobody expected it. However, there is a real sense of déjà vu about it and from a historian point of view it is remarkable. To score from a corner against a higher division side in an FA Cup that is one thing – and obviously Peter Hatch did it against Newcastle in 1981 – and then Lee Holmes goes and does it in 2016 from exactly the same corner. Although Peter Hatch went near post and Lee Holmes managed to put his over Adam Bogdan and into the back post, so they are not exactly the same. I don’t think Ádám Bogdán has been seen since though. That game brought a bit of a buzz back to the place and since then the football has been at another level. It was the start of a good period for the club.
Throughout the exhibition there were players and moments which just popped into our heads within 30 seconds of coming up with the idea and this was one of those moments. I should mention that the majority of these are Pinnacle photographs and they have had a long association with the club, and we are very fortunate because of that because you have so much amazing material to pick from. The way they captured this moment is superb, the movement of our players and the stillness and the despair of theirs. I also like it because you can see the Old Grandstand in the background and, of course, this was the last game, the last goal and the last meaningful moment of football in front of that iconic stand.
He had to be in the exhibition as well because he had a mad season. There were a number of moments and pictures from this game that we could have chosen and there were a number of photos of Jayden that we could have picked but we selected this one because you can see the Thatchers’ Big Bank in the background and you can also see Pierce Sweeney wheeling away as well. I must also give another shout out to Pinnacle because they have made to Jayden look very imposing in the picture. It is another excellent picture from them.
We nearly went for Randell Williams’ backflip from this game, the 4-0 win over Plymouth, but we had put that in the exhibition in the Centre Spot so we didn’t want to repeat that picture. Also this exhibition being one about the Supporters’ Trust is as much about the fans celebrating as it is the players, and this has a very good mixture of them both. There is just something about the photo that says ‘connection’ and ‘in it together’. It was also nice to have three of the key figures of our recent campaign in there – Randell Williams, Nicky Law and Ryan Bowman.