Tow Law Town AFC are a small non-league club from County Durham who play their football in the Northern League First Division. A world away from the pampered prima donnas that we see on television each week who play on pitches that look more like bowling greens. There are no high tech training facilities or medical equipment; the Northern League takes it back to basics, players play for the pure love of the game, every kick matters because the players care. Locals support the team because they were brought up in the town, not because they have the best players or because they win everything in sight. There are no multi-million pound sponsorship deals to fritter away on the latest form player, every penny counts, it has too, just to keep the club running as they fight to climb the football ladder.
This is the Northern League. This is Tow Law Town AFC.
In this series of intimate photographs I take a behind the scenes look at the people who dedicate their time week after week, making tea, cleaning boots, producing the programme and washing kit, all for the love of the club.
Ritchie Coatsworth was born in 1980 in County Durham, England. After graduating from the University of Sunderland with a Degree in Illustration and Design he worked as a graphic designer for various companies throughout the north east. It was through this chosen career path that he began to take an interest in photography. It wasn’t until buying his first Digital SLR in 2008 that his journey into serious photography began, starting with trying to capture the beauty of the north east coast line. In 2010 he held his first solo exhibition of landscape images at the Discovery Centre in Bishop Auckland. Ritchie’s work has been published in several magazines including Digital SLR Magazine, What Digital Camera, Amateur Photographer, Digital SLR Photography, Practical Photography and Digital Photography Enthusiast. More of his work can be viewed online at www.ritchiecoatsworthphotography.co.uk