8 Apr 2022

My design went viral!

England Football Club Black Lives Matter Crowns

Did you spot that black and white photo of Rashford, Sancho and Saka during the summer? I made that!

England lost to Italy on penalties (3-2) at the Euro 2020 final, with Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford MBE all missing their efforts. Sancho and Saka’s shots were both denied by Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, while Rashford hit the post in a rather frustrating turn for the Three Lions.

Unfortunately, the disappointing result led to massive criticisms from English football fans and the three were on the receiving end of those attacks. In Saka’s Instagram alone, his comments section were filled with disgusting remarks from angry fans who blame the teenager for the loss.

To show support to Saka, Sancho and Rashford I created a graphic and shared it on social media. Little did I know it would then go viral with LeBron James, Lewis Hamilton, Tom Holland and Naomi Osaka sharing it across their accounts.

The graphic was shared with well over 100 MILLION followers.

I created this graphic after seeing other messages of support, often images of the three superstars with a PNG crown pasted on or a greyscale copy of the photo showing them on the pitch. It’s then I had the idea of ‘why not combine the two?’. I took the original photo, photoshopped out Ben Chilwell and went to work. I was inspired by the mural of Rashford, the very same one that was unfortunately vandalised but then plastered with messages of love and support. The graffiti-style crowns mixed with the torn-up paper linking back to this.

Did I think it would go viral? NOT AT ALL! I have nearly 1,000 followers on Twitter, which for a guy who tweets about Arsenal, food and his dog is fairly good, but not enough to really make a dent. I thought at most, a few family and friends would like it and if I’m lucky, reach double figures with the likes. Not that  I posted it for the likes, it was to drown out the hate these young men were receiving with the only real skill I have.

Tom Holland, aka Spiderman, somehow saw, saved and reposted it onto his massive Instagram following. It is currently sitting on five million likes, which still blows my mind. Overnight, LeBron James’ brand UNINTERRUPTED shared the post after Naomi Osaka posted it on her Twitter to 1 million followers.

My phone went crazy, I woke up to friends screenshots of celebrities that shared the image to their accounts. Hundreds of notifications from strangers telling me Lewis Hamilton had shared the image and loads of lovely messages. Of course, this is the internet so there were one or two negative comments, but I’m the kind of person who can laugh it off and just ‘like’ their tweet.

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Four phone screens showing viral post from celebrities