New art collection honouring footballing legend Pele launches in Exeter

Even those with the most minimal footballing knowledge are aware that Pele was, and probably always will be, the greatest footballer to ever live.
Pele’s influence on the beautiful game has proved an inspiration for several generations now, making him one of sport’s most iconic figures.
Now, the Brazilian’s best ever moments can be re-lived by fans, with branches of the nationwide Castle Galleries launching a new collection of art celebrating Pele’s most prominent moments on the pitch.
Eight new photographic prints have been released by fine art publisher Washington Green as part of its Art Life Football series, which aims to celebrate the life and career of Pele, who has also personally signed every piece.
Fans will now be able to purchase their own snapshot of Pele’s historic career, which saw him net 1,283 goals in 1,366 matches, and become the only player ever to win three World Cups.
He also remains the top scorer in the history of the Brazilian national team, which for such a footballing-mad country is something of a momentous achievement.
Among the moments to be caught on camera include his goal during the Brazil 1970 World Cup win and the team’s pre-game line up – known as ‘the beautiful team’.
Another shot charts his stint playing for the New York Cosmos at Downing Stadium in 1975, but arguably the most famous image of the star was that captured by Luiz Paulo Machado.
Entitled Heart of a King, this picture shows Pele with perspiration on his chest that appears to have taken the shape of a heart, which has understandably only fuelled the hero worship surrounding him.
But as Pele himself explains, it is a love of football that has been the central part of his career.
He said: “My joy, throughout my life, has been football. Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”
Discussing the collection, Peter Gilby, gallery manager of Bluewater’s Castle Galleries, said: “The unique range of photography we have chosen to release outlines key moments in Pele’s decorated career.
“The selection of pictures – some taken nearly 50 years ago – capture the energy of the nation’s favourite sport in action and the grace of the international sporting icon that is Pele.
“The highest quality products and printing techniques have been used to create these very special pieces of artwork which are all hand-signed by Pele himself.”