Football restarted on 17 June 2020 in empty stadiums and has, for the most part, continued to be played without fans since. The FPA wanted to document this extraordinary period in football’s history. We hope you enjoy our exhibition.

With the support of Canon UK

The Lamex Stadium, home of Stevenage FC where the upcoming fixture board shows Stevenage FC v Coronavirus, 29th March 2020 – Photograph: Adam Davy/PA Images

Sky Bet League Two – Leyton Orient v Grimsby Town – Grimsby players walk past empty seats and down the steps of the Justin Edinburgh Stand as they make their way to the pitch from their makeshift dressing room in the club lounge, 7th October 2020 – Photograph: Charlotte Wilson / Offside.

Matt Platt, Scott Quigley and Tom Beading of Barrow make their way from the temporary dressing rooms to the pitch for the second half during the Sky Bet League Two match between Forest Green Rovers and Barrow at The New Lawn, 27th April 2021– Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Southend United players warm up during League Two between Colchester United and Southend United  at Colchester Community Stadium, 20th April 2020 – Photograph: Kieran Galvin / Action Foto Sport

Nike Merlin football dripping in disinfectant is seen during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Norwich City at Stamford Bridge, 14th July 2020 – Photograph: Marc Atkins

Sports journalists watch the match action in an empty stadium during the League One match between MK Dons and Doncaster Rovers, 27th March 2021 – Photograph: Michael Zemanek/BPI

A general view during the Championship match between Rotherham United and Cardiff City, 9th February 2021 – Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Social distancing signs at the Banks’s Stadium home of Walsall during the League Two match between Walsall and Port Vale, 19th December 2020 – Photograph: Matthew Ashton / AMA

Bernd Leno of Arsenal saves from Marko Grujic of Liverpool during the Carabao Cup 4th Round match, 1st October 2020- Photograph: Bradley Ormesher/The Times

Cardboard cutouts became the all the rage as clubs tried to increase revenue and add some atmosphere into the stadiums. A Birmingham City fan adopts his usual pose whilst watching his team.  Birmingham City v Watford, 12th December 2020 – Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Fans watch from TV screens during the League One match between Portsmouth and Oxford United at Fratton Park, 7th July 2020 – Photograph: James Marsh/BPI

A fan is seen peeking through the fence in an attempt to watch the Vanarama National League match between Wrexham and Aldershot Town, 21st November 2020 – Photograph: Lewis Storey/Getty Images

AFC Bournemouth players leave the pitch at half-time during the Championship match between Birmingham City and AFC Bournemouth, 7th November 2020 – Photograph: Marc Atkins

Thomas Frank the manager of Brentford is interviewed after the Championship match between Brentford and Preston North End, 15th July 2020 – Photograph: Ian Robinson/Preston North End Football Club

A husband and wife sit in their car outside of Villa Park watching the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Sheffield United on an iPad during the first day of Premier League football returning after the coronavirus pandemic hit, 17th June 2020 – Photograph: Kieran Cleeves/PA Images

Peterborough United’s Ricky-Jade Jones arrives at the Stadium of Light, home of Sunderland, and has his temperature checked on entry before their League One match, 26th September 2020 – Photograph: Joe Dent/ Peterborough United

Barnsley players wait to come out on to the pitch before the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Barnsley, 3rd March 2021 – Photograph: Adam Davy/PA Images

Chelsea Under 21 players walk out for the Papa John’s Trophy Southern Group D match against Bristol Rovers at Memorial Stadium, 18th November 2020 – Photograph: David Davies/PA Images

Cardboard cutouts of Leeds United fans are seen in the stands during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Luton Town, 30th June 2020 – Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Images

Manchester City players walk out for the Carabao Cup Semi Final match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford, 6th January 2021 – Photograph: Paul Currie/BPI

Robert Sanchez of Brighton and Hove Albion makes a save from Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United during the Premier League match on 4th April 2021 – Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 

General view inside the stadium as Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall of Luton Town and Rodrigo Riquelme of AFC Bournemouth battle for the ball during the Championship match on 19th December 2020 -Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

A father and son stand on top of pallets to watch Portsmouth’s final game of the League One season against Accrington Stanley, 9th May 2021 – Photograph: Kieran Cleeves/PA Images

Mick McCarthy the manager of Cardiff City is interviewed after the Championship match between Swansea City and Cardiff City at the Liberty Stadium as a groundsman sprays disinfectant due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic, 20th March 2020 – Photograph: Matthew Ashton / AMA

Dynel Simeu of Chelsea U21 prepares to lead his team out for the Papa John’s Trophy Southern Group D match against Bristol Rovers at Memorial Stadium, 18th November 2020 – Photograph: David Davies/PA Images

The players of Reading make their way out for the start of the match during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Reading, 2nd December 2020 – Photograph Alex Livesey

The National Anthem is sung before kick off during the Everton v Manchester City Women’s F.A. Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, 1st November 2020 – Photograph: Tom Jenkins/ The Guardian

Bernd Leno of Arsenal saves at the feet of DeAndre Yedlin of Newcastle United during the FA Cup third round match at the Emirates Stadium, 9th January 2021 – Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP

Steam rises off Timo Werner of Chelsea on a cold night during their match against Rennes at Stamford Bridge, 4th November 2020 – Photograph: Charlotte Wilson/Offside.

Jack Harrison of Leeds United celebrates in the stand with cardboard cut outs after scoring his sides third goal against Fulham, 27th June 2020 – Photograph: George Wood/Getty Images

The Liverpool players lift the Premier League trophy at the presentation on The Kop in front of a few members of their backroom staff following the Liverpool v Chelsea Premier League match at Anfield on 22nd July 2020 – Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Fireworks are set off at Anfield as Liverpool lift the trophy and celebrate becoming Premier League Champions, 22nd July 2020 – Photograph: Simon Stacpoole / Offside

A portacabin toilet door is left open outside the bet365 stadium during the Championship match between Stoke City and Sheffield Wednesday, 16th February 2021 – Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

The players of Norwich City make their way to the pitch from makeshift away changing rooms for the Championship match against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, 14th March 2021 – Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt / AMA

Crystal Palace Women make their way out for the WSL match against Chelsea Women on 12th September 2020 – Photograph: Chloe Knott/Danehouse

Marcus Rashford of Manchester United takes a knee in support of the “Black Lives Matter” movement prior to the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, 19th June 2020 – Photograph Ben Radford/Visionhaus

A general view of the action from between the cardboard cut out fans during the Sky Bet League Two match between Carlisle United and Grimsby Town at Brunton Park, 9th March 2021 – Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Canvey supporters watch the match on ladders from outside the ground during the Canvey Island v Boreham Wood FA Cup 2nd round match at Park Lane, 30th November 2020 – Photograph: Tom Jenkins/ The Guardian

Cardboard cut outs of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are seen during the Sky Bet Championship between Nottingham Forest and Swansea City, 15th July 2020 – Mike Egerton/PA Images

A general view during the Premier League match between Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur at Turf Moor, 26th October 2020 – Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Olufela Olomola of Scunthorpe United takes the ball to the corner during the Sky Bet League Two match between Scunthorpe United and Bradford City, 23rd March 2021 – Photograph: George Wood/Getty Images

Danny Andrew of Fleetwood Town celebrates with teammates after scoring their team’s third goal during the Sky Bet League One match between Fleetwood Town and Doncaster Rovers, 9th February 2021 – Photograph: by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

West Bromwich Albion’s Callum Robinson celebrates scoring their second goal against Queens Park Rangers in front of an empty stand. This game sealed their promotion back to the Premier League, 22nd July 2020 – Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

A fan wearing a face covering sits in the stands ahead of kick off for the Premier League match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge, 18th May 2021 – Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP

An Everton fan arrives through the stadium turnstile prior to the Premier League match between Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Goodison Park, 19th May 2021- Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Arsenal lift the FA Community Shield at Wembley after victory over Liverpool, 29th August 2020 – Photograph: Kevin Quigley/Daily Mail

Liam Cooper of Leeds United lifts the Sky Bet Championship trophy after the match between Leeds United and Charlton Athletic at Elland Road, 22nd July 2020 – Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Sergio Aguero of Manchester City is thrown in the air by his team mates after the Premier League match against Everton at Etihad Stadium, 23rd May 2021 – Photograph: Kevin Quigley/Daily Mail 

Arsenal fans protest against the European Super League and owner Stan Kroenke outside Emirates Stadium prior to the Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton, 23rd April 2021 -Photograph: Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

Northampton Town fans watch the League One match between Northampton Town and Peterborough United from a hill outside the stadium, 10th October 2020 – Photograph: Michael Zemanek/BPI

Our Exhibition Curators

Jakki Moores

Whilst studying Photography at Richmond College Jakki worked for Nikon UK and on graduating became the Head of Nikon Professional Service and worked with some of the UK’s best photographers, supporting them at global events where she became passionate about imaging and technology. 

Now at Canon UK Jakki still specialises in News and Sport, working as part of the pro-business team where her customers range from Global Agencies, Media groups, freelancers and the next generation.

“It’s such an exciting and evolving industry to be involved in – with outstanding images at the core. The pictures we see every day still always amaze me!”, says Jakki.

Darren Walsh

Darren Walsh is currently the club photographer for Chelsea Football Club.

Darren has been shooting football for 35 years after starting his career at Action Images agency when he was 18 years old in 1986. After 19 years working for Action Images and covering various FIFA World Cups, UEFA European Championships, UEFA Champions League matches and countless Premier League matches he left to join Chelsea FC in 2005 and has been there for the past 16 years.

John Childs

John Childs started in the sports photography industry with East Midlands Picture Service, better known as Empics back in 1987.

After 10 years with Empics John joined the sports photography agency Allsport and was an important member of staff during their transition into becoming a part of Getty Images. John worked alongside the picture desk at Getty Images and was their main link to many clients including the newspaper industry.

Having spent 20 successful years at Allsport/Getty Images John then went on to join the Daily Mail Sports Desk where he has been for the past two years.

Note: All photographs are copyrighted to photographer / company. Website copyright: FPA. 2021