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OVER: Injury-time Heroes

Aidan Kelly Murphy discusses themes of mental health and football in the work of Gabriel Andreu

In Ireland and the UK men are three to four times more likely to commit suicide than women,1 with suicide being the leading cause of death amongst males under 25 in Ireland, accounting for 1 in 5 deaths,2 and males aged 20-34 in the UK, with 1 in 4 deaths.3 Whilst many factors are at play in each and every one of these personal and tragic stories, it is often thought that men’s struggle to discuss and articulate their feelings is an underlying factor in this gender gap. It is this topic that forms the genesis of Gabriel Andreu’s Heroes series, a body of work that sees the Spanish artist create composite portraits of footballers. Andreu’s images feature British footballers from the 1960s and 1970s― an era when football teams, and their players, were no longer just sporting institutions but becoming ingredients in wider social identities. In Wexford, the rural Irish county where I grew up, there was no League of Ireland football team and, with options limited, many fans during these decades looked out and across the sea to England for a team. My father and his family were no different. He supported Manchester United, his brother’s home was Highbury, after Arsenal’s home ground, with his sister living in Liverpool’s Anfield―next door to my godfather who lived in Trafford, minus the Old…

Read the full article in Issue #3 of OVER

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