There aren’t many football clubs that can claim to have had an internationally renowned graffiti artist serve as goalkeeper. However, in 2001 Banksy joined an amateur football team on a tour to Mexico where he played against Zapatista freedom fighters.
The Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls club was established in 1992 when a group of youngsters from Bristol joined a local league. They claim to be “Britain’s most intrepid sports club”, playing in places including Stuttgart, Mexico, Israel and Morocco. Banksy attended many sessions in the 1990s and Will Simpson, club secretary has told the press “He went on tour with us to Mexico in 2001 and painted a number of murals in the community.”
“The Cowboys is unique in that we don’t define ourselves as a socialist team or anarchist team, we are a sport team that has a political dimension” Mr Simpson explains. Based in the Plough pub in Easton, they have just written a book chronicling their fascinating history. Images of Banksy painting a mural depicting the Zapatista’s struggle for independence whilst on tour in Mexico have been published in the book – with the infamous artist’s face pixelated to protect his identity. These are the first confirmed pictures of illusive artist Banksy ever printed.
Since finding fame Banksy has donated artwork to auction and designed a T-shirt to help raise over £100,000 to support the club.