When the photographer Peter Widing, a close friend of mine, succumbed last year I decided to do something the two of us had often “was talkin about a”: find the three young players from a scene I had loved since I first ensure it 11 years ago
It was July 1990, and a week which started with an earthquake in the Philippines that killed 1,621 people and conclude with Roger Waters performing The Wall in front of virtually 500,000 people in Berlin. The businessman Donald Trump was only a few minutes away from going bankrupt.
The weather was sunny in Sweden between 15 and 21 July, pleasing all those in the middle of their holidays. The photographer Peter Widing, however, was not on holiday. He was working.
The 22 -year-old was covering a youth football tournament, the Gothia Cup, for the Expressen newspaper. By one of the pitchings he stopped and created his camera. Perhaps he already felt he had captured something special, but it was not until he developed the movie that he saw the result.
The first time I find what Widing had captured was 16 year later. I was doing work experience at the Offside football magazine and on the walls there were nine blown-up, framed photograph. All of them were taken by Widing. One was from a full Maracana, another of Peter Schmeichel picking the ball out of the net during Euro 92. But the one I couldn’ttake my eyes offwas the picture Peter took that July day in 1990. Two blond, virtually twin-like sons celebrating a aim or win. The shirts are neatly tucked into their shorts. In front of them, a chubby, sad adversary whose dreams had just been crushed.
The picture would not have had the same devastating effect had it been taken a second earlier or later. It is a moment that requires the blond boys’ synchronised celebrations, which, in turn, would not have entailed anything if it was not for the contrasting son in tears and tight shirt. It is a work of art that I have loved for the past 11 years.
When I had worked at Offside for a while and was dedicate my own room I took the picture with me and hung it on the wall above my desk. I have looked at the boys so many times and wondered how their lives turned out. Sometimes I said to Peter that we should track them down. But he mainly shrugged and said it would never work. He was a man of few words and coming from him it meant something more like:” I will merrily help if we really decide that we are going to do it .”
We never did. On 29 May 2016 Peter killed himself. His death was unimaginable and affected me more than anything I have experienced. He was not only a colleague for 10 years but also a special friend. It is said that time heals every wound and perhaps the sorrow has decreased but I do not want to forget him and the picture has an important part to play. It still hangs above my desk and every time I look at the three sons I think of Peter.