Contribution & Words: Phil Carr
Signed by The ENG team at PlayStation Skatepark, London 1998
Lets go back. Back to Burslem College, Stoke on Trent, 2004. During an incredibly dull study session in the computer lab where instead of learning about curing rates of concrete my attention was on eBay. Specifically on a listing for a pair of used “Salomon ST8’s with Free pro designed pads and Extras”.
I didn’t need any of the above at the time I was more than happy with my Salomon Vinny Minton pros but the consumer whore in me coupled with curiosity as to what these “Extras” entailed got the better of me. So I chucked in a bid within the dwindling seconds of the auction and low and behold I was the winner! Yes! Only to see that it was Collection only. Oof! Slight Burn. Needless to say I fulfilled on my end of the deal and headed to Birmingham the next day to collect the haul.
The seller was a young man (a few years younger than myself) who had matured and decided that rollerblading was not to be in his future. So when he asked if the skate stuff was for my kid, my own self consciousness prevented me from coming clean and with a gulp of shame I simply replied “Yep” and proceeded to fill my car’s boot with nostalgia.
Before returning north on the M6 with some Size 10 ST8’s, Pro Designed ramp knee pads and some silver Roces sunglasses my guy comes back like Columbo to tell me hes got “just one more thing” and pulls out the beauty you see here before you:- an original, signed, framed England clothing team poster autographed by the 98 team; Dustin Latimer, Jon Julio and Josh Petty. Featuring quite possibly Jess D’s greatest ever photograph of a young DL executing a perfect parallel grabbed Alley-Oop fishbrain at the top of a Californian Storm Drain to the amazement of an on-looking bare footed child wearing his Dad’s shirt. To say I was impressed was an understatement. I was told that the poster came from the London PlayStation park stop of the England tour back in 1998
There’s so much to love about this poster from the image’s overall blueish hue and Julio’s cargo shorts, to Petty’s smouldering, G.Q good-looks glaze.
Now, what I know about photography you could fit on the wall of a Boss Speed Bearing but I know what I like and I feel that this image has great composition. Like how the background elements such as the road crash barrier and the arrow of the one-way sign draw your eye to the subject and how barefoot kid’s line of sight causes you to glance up once more to see Dustin shredding.
I even enjoy the way the ink on the signatures are fading. I like to think of Julio and the squad that British Summer’s day signing a stack of these things on the bonnet of their mercedes sprinter tour van for an army of Grommets. To the point where they’re sharing their last black Sharpie and refuse to let a kid go home without an autograph because they’re professionals Goddammit!
From the time I brought this home literally every skater I’ve ever shown this to has responded in more or less the following fashion “This is sick. Never sell it. But if you do let me know ok.” Over the last 16 years I’ve looked at this poster most days. I never imagined I’d sell it but since moving house last year I don’t really have space for it anymore, sadly. I suppose I could have stored it in my loft but in my opinion an artifict such as this requires love, appreciation and preserving for the community which is why when I toyed with the idea of letting it go I knew there was only one option. It breaks my heart to sell it but I am happy in the knowledge that it couldn’t have gone to a better home
– Phil Carr, 2020