Once Upon a Time in Bermondsey

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Photos by Jacopo Maino

Jacopo Maino lives and works between Turin and London. His main interests are documentary photography and portraiture. He has recently graduated from the London College of Communication (MA Photography 2011).

Once Upon a Time in Bermondsey explores the concepts of obsession, passion and commitment. It is a story about time: about past, present and future, and how they merge in the collective consciousness of a football club – Fisher FC.

Fisher FC is a London-based football club with more than one hundred years of history. After a series of events eventually leading to bankruptcy in 2009, the club was forced to leave its local area, Bermondsey. The supporters were left with nothing to support. Nonetheless, they did not fall into despair but instead gathered together and decided to pursue the dream of rebuilding the club from the ashes, starting at the bottom league with all new players. As of 2009, the club is wholly owned and run by its supporters.

During these years, Fisher FC supporters have experienced an exile that echoes the Babylonian Captivity: forced to leave their heartland in Bermondsey, they are now obliged to linger in the stadium of their local rivals in Dulwich. Their former home, the Surrey Docks Stadium, now lies in ruin and is slowly decaying. Its structures, roofs and fences can be found in other pitches of London. The stadium is no longer the temple of football it once was; instead, it houses a weekly car boot sale. Nevertheless, remnants of Fisher’s former glory are scattered throughout: old stands, decayed dugouts and proud clock towers.

Fisher FC supporters never ceased to dream of their future. Their obsession is to rebuild the club from the ashes, returning it to its former glory and to the area where it belongs, Bermondsey.

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