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Oh When The Blues: capturing Oldham Athletic

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Photographer David Shaw has been following Oldham Athletic supporters on their travels and has brought together his favourite shots in a new book. Here he tells us more about capturing the blues…

 I decided to photograph the Oldham Athletic community after I attended an Oldham home match in 2014 against Scunthorpe.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a group of fans both passionate about the club and sport but also very friendly. I started photographing shortly after and was swiftly invited to more games, people’s homes, and of course, the pub.

David Shaw OWTB 2

Since then I have made as many of the games home and away as I can and feel as though I myself, am also a fan. These pictures document the community through its highs and lows focusing on the many characters and supporters groups involved.

After two years, even now the book is out, I am still meeting Latics supporters for the first time and have received incredible support for the book.

David Shaw OWTB3

My hope is that a football fan of any club can feel affinity towards this work. For all the times we have got the train at silly morning hours to watch our team lose 5-0, those 9am pints on derby day and catching a frostbite that even the warmest cup of Bovril can’t save you from; we have also felt the elation of that stoppage time winner.

This book, through pictures, explores the experience and culture of English football fandom through the story of Oldham’s die hard supporters. The book is 112 pages, soft-back 26×21 cm with over 100 full colour images professional printed and bound at Ex Why Zed printing. An original print run of 200 is being sold and around two-thirds of that stock has already gone.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe