Photographer: Unknown


Fields of Play: Football Memories
and Forced Removals in Cape Town

The origins of Fields of Play: football memories and forced removals in Cape Town are to be found in the work done for the landmark sports exhibition (Dis)playing the Game (1997), and the methodologies developed during the inaugural exhibition Streets: retracing District Six which preceded it in 1994.

Fields of Play depicted the far-reaching impact of forced removals on football associations and clubs in Cape Town. It portrayed the history of football from the first moment the game was played on Green Point Common in 1862 and traced this history through oral history accounts, archival documentation and a rich visual archive donated by players and administrators. The making of the exhibition reunited a number of football administrators, players, referees as well as spectators of the game. Their memories and stories vividly brought to life the vibrant history of struggle, competition, discipline and achievement by the city’s sporting communities. The exhibition provided an account of the histories of football at ten sites in Cape Town: Green Point Common, Royal Road in Maitland, Langa, Rosmead Sports Ground in Kenilworth, Athlone, Hartleyvale in Observatory, Shelley Street in Salt River, William Herbert Sports ground in Wynberg, Rylands and Stellenbosch.

The exhibition was supported and funded by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, and opened in the Museum’s Homecoming Centre in 2008. In 2010, with the aid of the Carl Schlettwein Foundation, the Museum opened an abridged version of the Fields of Play exhibition at the Basler Afrika Bibliographien in Basel, Switzerland. An exhibition catalogue funded by the Foundation, accompanied the exhibition.

Photographer: Paul Grendon