Clapton CFC is a East London based fan-owned amateur club with a difference: a strong anti-fascist message and mission. We follow the players and the Clapton Ultras: antifascist, pyro-loving fans, cheering and championing a much more inclusive vision of football. Inspired by Clapton’s progressive history – home to the UK’s first black professional player, Water Tull –, fans are determined to rid football of racism and homophobia. Organising in the stands and the streets, the Ultras’ guiding philosophy is to use football as a way of uniting against hate. The ultimate goal? Helping football rediscover it’s soul and be a sport for everyone.
In my experience, grassroots movements offer the best opportunity to understand and appreciate any sport and reveal the meaning of the game.
I have been photographing Clapton CFC and their journey since 2017. While top-flight stadiums are corporate spaces where bigotry and animosity are rife, I fell in love with the welcoming atmosphere and the anti-racist and anti-homophobic values Clapton and its fan base stand for.