Next season, we will be celebrating 150 years of Reading Football Club…in a whole host of different ways.
And we want to create a visual masterpiece at the Madejski with our supporters at the very centre of it.
For far too long now, football has been played behind closed doors. And we have missed you, just as you have missed your second home, your football family, the moments of sheer jubilation that have decorated our long, rich and revered history. But we will not forget how important our supporters have been in creating the journey we have been on since 1871, nor how vital they will be in shaping our future.
So we want to invite you to become part of our fabric…literally.
To help us celebrate this momentous milestone, Royals fans can take their place in a portrait which will be hand-painted by artist Chris Rutterford into a 150th anniversary mural that will adorn the exterior of the West Upper Stand in RG2.
The club are collaborating with one of the UK’s top mural artists to construct a ground-breaking new fan mural which will be completed and displayed for all to see during our 150th anniversary campaign...which kicks off in August 2021.
Rutterford specialises in vibrant crowd murals featuring expertly painted portraits of fans immortalised in the places they love. Over the last decade, the Scotland-based artist has completed a series of intricate, high-profile crowd paintings of fans celebrating in locations that mean so much to them. Reading Football Club is to be his very first football club commissioned south of the border!
This massive new milestone mural is designed to reflect the history, the passion and the pride felt by fans supporting the Royals throughout its fabulous history. The spectacular canvas, once filled with beautifully-painted portraits, will climb up the West Upper Stand and stand proud as you and your friends and family have on the terraces of Elm Park or in the stands at the Madejski.
So this is your chance to have your face feature in the mural. And all you need is a photo.
A photo of you with a blue and white scarf draped around your neck, a snap of your daughter watching her first game sat on a knee, a photo of your dad, grandma or great grandparents enjoying the Elm Park excitement back in the day, a photo of your group of friends in celebration of a cup-winning goal or a 25-yard thunderbolt…
It is your choice. And it is all possible.
Portraits can be painted from photos taken now in your front room, from images taken of you or your family enjoying the game from the stadium or from sepia-toned snaps of fans who have perhaps inspired others to follow the Royals but who may sadly no longer be with us.
And the more vibrant and energetic the photo the better – your image will then come to life and you’ll literally stand out from the crowd when the final mural is in position. So celebrate, cheer, hug, cry with joy and take pride of place amongst your fellow fans.
As the mural takes shape, there will be regular updates of the progress being made posted on a Facebook page dedicated to this project.
So to be part of our 150th anniversary mural…the process is simple.
- Take a photo of yourself, with or without your friends and family, celebrating as if a goal has just been scored and the players are running to you to celebrate!
- A few tips…don’t look directly at the camera and try to take it in natural daylight. With less flash and little shadow the better the photo will be and the better the portrait will be. And if you want a group photo of two or more fans, upload one file and then select the relevant size option from the dropdown menu.
- If you have the perfect photo in mind, of you or a loved one, the job is already done. You just need to be able to send it to the artist in a digital format.
- And all you do is simply upload your photos via chrisrutterford.com and make the payment to sign up for your spot in the mural.
You will be able to purchase your portrait from Wednesday 25th November and prices start at £80, little more than fans have historically paid for a brick in the wall - and yet this will be a hand-painted portrait produced by one of the leading mural artists in the country.
Larger life-size portraits are also available to purchase at a premium price of £150 – these will feature in the foreground of the mural in the bottom tier of finished piece, closer to the pitch in the design.
And remember these photos will remain part of the Madejski Stadium structure for years to come – this will be something you will be able to show your children and your grandchildren. Or perhaps an old photo of an ardent supporter can act as a poignant tribute to someone we have sadly lost but who can now be a Royals fan forever, immortalised in our mural.
Uploads are open from Wednesday 25th November 2020 and once you have signed up, you will receive a confirmation email from the site. You will also receive an update of the portrait as soon as Chris has painted you into the design.
If you have any questions about the project, your personal portrait or the photo you need to upload, you can contact Reading Football Club’s Supporter Services Manager, Rob Coleman, via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is your opportunity to become a permanent face in our crowd!
Whether it’s a Christmas gift for another or a way of showing you bleed blue and white and will always be a Royal…we’re looking forward to welcoming you to Madejski Stadium.