LIVERPOOL, UK.- A ground breaking new exhibition exploring Europes love affair with the beautiful game is to open at World Museum Liverpool on Saturday 11 October.
Running from 11 October 2008 till 1 March 2009, Only a Game? is an interactive exhibition for the whole family, inviting visitors to plunge into the emotions of football inspired by a selection of prestigious artefacts, trophies and memorabilia from over 50 years of European football.
In collaboration with the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), National Football Museum and National Museums Liverpool, the UEFA exhibition is making its only UK appearance in Liverpool; European Capital of Culture and arguably one of Europes great capitals of football.
All four of UEFAs most prestigious trophies will be on display during the opening month of the exhibition representing a very rare occasion when the UEFA European Championship (EURO) and UEFA Champions League trophies will appear alongside the UEFA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners Cup in the same place at the same time.
Memorabilia from the National Football Museum will be featured in the exhibition, including shirts, medals and trophies from great European players such as George Best, Franz Beckenbauer, Bobby Moore and Petr Cech, and visitors can also discover the citys own dramatic role in European football with special items on display from the Everton Collection and the Liverpool FC Museum.
Michel Platini, President of UEFA and three times European Footballer of the Year, said: I am delighted that UEFA is bringing this exciting exhibition to Liverpool during its Capital of Culture celebrations, a city that loves its football and plays such a big role in Europes fascination with the game.
Only a Game? ends with a question mark, encouraging the visitor to reflect on the social and cultural aspects of modern football and ask themselves questions concerning aspects such as the solidarity, success, participation, celebration, racism and integration associated with the game, and the emotions it triggers.
Lilian Thuram, official patron of the exhibition and winner of both the World Cup and European Championship with France, said: Football brings people together across Europe. It speaks a simple language that everyone understands. Only a Game? shines a light on all the actors that play a role: fans, school kids, amateurs, as well as the professional players.
Liverpool player Steven Gerrard said: "There is no city in Europe where football means more than it does to the people of Liverpool. So I think it is great that we are having a European football exhibition as part of Liverpool 08."
Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), said: "The city of Liverpool and the Northwest region are known across the world for outstanding professional football so it is only right this exciting exhibition should come here. In the Northwest we are passionate about football and culture and both make a major contribution to the regional economy. I am delighted we have been able to work with our partners to bring Only A Game? to Liverpool."
Bryan Gray, Chair of the Liverpool Culture Company, added: Sport is part of Liverpools heritage and football has helped to shape this city of culture, so it should be no surprise to see it feature so prominently in the Capital of Culture programme. We are delighted to welcome Only a Game? to the European Capital of Culture; I can think of nowhere more fitting for this thought provoking exhibition.