Over the past few years, I have collected a number of newspaper cuttings of sportsmen pulling silly faces. I’ll say nothing more about it. You’d have to see it. But I’d recommend keeping your own scrapbook, if you have the time and the inclination. There’s joy to be had.
All of this is by way of introduction to the Barclays Premier League’s ‘Shot of the 20 Seasons’ award, to be announced this month. The Guardian are currently featuring the shortlisted photographs, spanning all twenty years of the Premiership, evoking some fabulous memories and illustrating the level of ability on display, week in, week out. Have a look at the photograph of David Ginola in the middle of an overhead kick, the turf flying off his boots as he connects with the ball. The awe of half the Reading team as they attempt to challenge Cristiano Ronaldo. The anguish of Boaz Myhill as he concedes a winning goal. And, of course, the stand-out candidate: Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick to win the Manchester derby in Feburary 2011.
The only shame is that there are currently only twelve photographs on display. They must have sifted through hundreds of strong candidates. We’ll keep you informed when the winner is announced.