David Shrigley, Chris Simpson and more illustrate a series of beer mats in celebration of the Euros
Gordon Reid and Callum Stephenson have launched Weird Euros, a collection of artist illustrated beer mats depicting the “weird and funny” moments from European Championship football history.
- Ayla Angelos
- 20 May 2021
Forget UEFA, there’s a new Euros in town – the Weird Euros, a series of artist-illustrated beer mats celebrating the weird and funny moments from European Championship football history. As a follow up to the Weird World Cup launched in 2018, the Weird Euros arrives in a similar beer mat fashion, ahead of the rescheduled tournament starting next month. This time around, they’ve asked a handful of artists to contribute their favourite moments to the collection, involving bigger names like David Shrigley, Chris Simpson and Pentagram, alongside emerging artists like Robyn Nicol, Israel Kujore and Isobel Mehta.
A week since launching, the goal of the project is to raise money for grassroots football charities FC Not Alone and Goals 4 Girls, launched under the Adidas Football Collective – a project striving to make the game more accessible. Other names involved are Genie Espinosa, Dan Woodger, Ben Tallon, Maaike van Neck, David Oku, Raj Dhunna, Jack Renwick Studio, Aleesha Nandra, Hey Studio, Mina Owen, Bratislav Milenkovic, Justin Poulter, Marcos Møller Bitsch and Kill Cooper (Cool Shit).
The project kicked off in 2018 while the two founding graphic designers – Gordon Reid and Callum Stephenson – were discussing their favourite World Cup moments. They proceeded to invite 20 designers to contribute to Weird World Cup, a project that raised £20,000 for charity. “People all over the world really bought into our little idea. We were on TV, in newspapers and even Tweeted by my team Crystal Palace,” explains Reid. “For months after the tournament, we were being tagged in posts with people sharing their beer mats all over the world. They ended up being used in pub quizzes, hung in galleries, being cruised around in yachts and, of course, being used for people to rest their pints on.”
When it came to planning the Weird Euros, both designers had a wealth of experience to draw from. “One critical factor in order to grow Weird Euros bigger than before was who we partnered with,” says Reid. Adidas had been in touch with the designers since 2018, and with their support – plus the launch of the Adidas Football Collective – they decided to partner up. “Best decision we’ve made,” he adds.
When it came to the artwork itself, the designers initially sent the artists a list of “funny and weird moments” that they could choose from, structured on a “first come first serve” basis. As the project grew, the artists “popped up” with moments themselves, which were “even funnier and weirder than we thought of,” says Reid. David Shrigley, for example, had originally chosen a moment from the project’s list. “Then he sent us an amazing artwork and a one-liner email basically saying, ‘I’m a Forest fan and Stuart Pearce (a legend for Forest) getting headhunted in 92 was weird and funny so I’ve done that’. It was absolutely brilliant, and totally encapsulated the dry humour of this project.”
Other contributions include Ben Tallon – “the king of weird and niche football moments” – who thought of one particular memory for the project. It was of Paul The Octopus, who used to predict the results of football matches, like that of the Euros in 2008. “That was a no brainer to have in, it’s so weird,” says Reid. Otherwise, Mina Owen chose the moment when David Beckham started blaming grass for missing penalties, and Chris Simpson picked Reid’s favourite moment of “Gazza’s dentist chair”, the celebration that saw Paul Gascoigne score a goal then pretend to be at the dentist. “I was getting worried no one would pick it and then he cropped up with it. Brilliant.”
More information about the project can be found here.
Weird Euros: Chris Simpson (Copyright © Chris Simpson, 2021)
About the Author
Ayla was an editorial assistant back in June 2017 and has continued to work with us on a freelance basis. She has spent the last seven years as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.