Sun, sea and slide tackles: San Sebastian’s football scene

Sun, sea and slide tackles: San Sebastian’s football scene
The Travel Diary — Photographer Elliott Wilcox heads to Spain’s Bahia de La Concha to capture the Solteros and the Casados – two local teams who do battle on the sand once a year.

It’s 10am on Saturday June 24, and I’m on the Bahia de La Concha in San Sebastian. Still digesting last night’s dinner, I take the daily pilgrimage along the sandy beach with my girlfriend and her family. Before long – much to their dismay – I find myself being drawn by a football match taking place on the sand.

The game is an annual fixture that takes place between two teams – the San Sebastian Solteros, wearing blue and the Casados, in yellow. (The team names translate directly to the ‘Singles’ and the ‘Marrieds.’) 

I take out my camera and start shooting the players in action. I am drawn particularly to the player’s reactions, routines and team talks. As half-time hits, I capture them cool off, glug from beach taps and form circles as they formulate heated plans for the second half.

Eventually, I turn my camera to the fans and the random passersby who have started watching the game. They’re entranced. I’m not sure if it’s the tribe mentality, the magnetism of athleticism, or the time it allows people to switch off and reflect, but somehow the match has managed to draw generations of people together. And that’s the beauty of football.

See more of Elliot Wilcox’s work on his official website.

Enjoyed this article? Like Huck on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

Latest on Huck

In photos: Three decades of Glastonbury Festival’s people and subcultures
Photography

In photos: Three decades of Glastonbury Festival’s people and subcultures

A new photobook explores the unique cultural experience and communal spirit found at the UK’s largest festival.

Written by: Isaac Muk

Surreal scenes from the streets of Tokyo
Photography

Surreal scenes from the streets of Tokyo

A new book by photographer Feng Li uses images of strange encounters to explore the historical centre of street photography.

Written by: Isaac Muk

Re-enchanted England: Exploring Paganism and Folklore
Culture

Re-enchanted England: Exploring Paganism and Folklore

A new book dives into the ancient traditions and rituals that many are turning to in an age of uncertainty, crisis and climate breakdown.

Written by: Thomas Andrei

Inside London’s Museum of Sex
Culture

Inside London’s Museum of Sex

For two days only a derelict house in south east London will become a hub of artwork exploring eroticism, sexuality, gender, and the body.

Written by: Brit Dawson

Why is Neil Diamond’s mega-hit ‘Sweet Caroline’ so intoxicating for sports fans?
Outdoors

Why is Neil Diamond’s mega-hit ‘Sweet Caroline’ so intoxicating for sports fans?

During this summer’s edition of the Euros, one certainty is the ubiquity of Diamond’s 1969 hit. But how and why did it gain such a storied place in England fans’ hearts? Jimmy McIntosh investigates.

Written by: Jimmy McIntosh

Can things only get better, again?
Election 2024

Can things only get better, again?

With the re-emergence of D:Ream’s euphoric 1993 hit and a ’97 style Labour landslide looking likely, Hannah Ewens dives deep into the creation of Cool Britannia, and asks experts whether it could be repeated again.

Written by: Hannah Ewens

Sign up to our newsletter

Issue 80: The Ziwe issue

Buy it now