‘Pelé: Art, Life, Football’ launches at the National Football Museum

25 May 2017

Regarded by many as the greatest footballer of all time, Brazilian superstar Pelé will be celebrated at the National Football Museum in Manchester with a vibrant new exhibition. Pelé: Art, Life, Football looks at the stages of the football icon’s life through the eyes (and lenses) of artists and photographers from around the world.

As one of the original footballing icons, Pelé won three World Cups with Brazil and earned 638 caps for Santos, where he scored a staggering 619 goals. He finished his career with a stint in the USA, where he played for New York Cosmos. But it was not just his on-field talents that caught the imagination of creatives; his career and celebrity status away from the beautiful game (a phrase some credit the player with connecting to football) has given rise to some stunning photographs and artworks.

Launching on the evening of 18 May with a Brazilian themed party, the colourful collection includes original works by contemporary artists such as Pedro Paricio, Stuart McAlpine Miller and Russell Young who were all commissioned to create pieces inspired by the global sporting legend. In addition, the exhibition will include iconic items from the National Football Museum’s collection such as Pelé’s 1958 World Cup Final shirt, plus some never-seen-before exhibits donated by private collectors, including his old passport.

Inspired by the Halcyon Gallery’s 2015 exhibition of the same name, Pelé: Art, Life, Football opens to the public on 19 May and will run until Sunday 4 March 2018. Admission will be free.

Kevin Haygarth, Interim Director at the National Football Museum, said: “Pelé is rightly lauded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, and his contribution to the game has been documented by a wealth of talented artists and photographers. “We wanted to celebrate Pelé in a way which befits his vibrant and creative personality, and hosting a range of stunning imagery alongside significant items from his career certainly does this.”

For more information visit The National Football Museum