Painting Football: the Fine Art of Paine Proffitt

Albion v Arsenal 1937

Away Colours has been a great admirer of American born painter Paine Proffitt’s vintage style football paintings, since first noticing the “Book of Albion” programme covers that Paine designed for West Bromwich Albion FC in 2011.

Paine’s artwork harks back to the world of football between the wars – the game stripped back to its roots in the working class communities of Britain’s industrial heartlands. His work gives us an image of football as it was, before the world of TV rights, merchandising and mega sponsorship, the football of our forefathers. This is what makes his work so appealing.

Paine clearly does his research to understand what makes up the identities of the clubs he works with, both in terms of their relationship with their fans and the socio-geographical area in which they are based. This, beautifully illustrated by the work below for Albion, a club owing its creation and fan base to those who worked in the manufacturing industries of the Black Country.

Glory Days At The Hawthorns

A keen Port Vale FC supporter, Paine has confessed to quite the “soft spot” for West Brom ,as well as Aberdeen FC, and has worked for a number of British football clubs. Commissions for illustrations and programme work have come from clubs far and wide and range from Port Vale, Arsenal, Aberdeen to Grimbsy Town, Aston Villa and Huddersfield Town.

Arsenal Stadium - Highbury

Paine’s understanding of what football means in British cultural terms is very clear, a game he fell in love with when he first came to the UK to study in 1994, being romanced by the historic grounds, the atmosphere and the history of the older clubs of the game.

Heavily influenced by artists such as Picasso and Chagall, as well as British painters such as CRW Nevinson, Paine first started to focus on painting football in 2007, later developing the art deco vintage style poster artwork to great success. The likes of Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Robbie Williams are amongst the more famous owners of his artwork.

Napoli - Forza Napoli

Paine is currently as busy as ever designing match day programmes and artwork, catching up on sleep and hoping in the future to return to his American roots with some baseball themed work. We would like to thank him for allowing us to reproduce some of his artwork as part of this piece and for chatting to  @AwayColours.

It was very difficult for us to choose our favourite of Paine’s work for this post – you can see more of Paine’s work at and at

© LRM 2013


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