A LARGE mural has gone on display in Darwen town centre depicting an international footballer.
The artwork, on the side of the former Natwest bank, shows England and Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw wearing an Adidas Spezial and C.P. Company jacket, with the former being the brainchild of legendary Darwen-born designer, Gary Aspden.
Shaw is the face of the new Adidas x C.P. Company campaign, and the image is believed to have been taken at a recent photoshoot.
Luke Shaw playing for England
C.P Company is a luxury Italian apparel brand founded by designer Massimo Osti, who is often referred to as the ‘godfather of sportswear’.
In line with celebrations for the brand’s 50th anniversary, C.P. Company will be taking part in the British Textile Biennial 2021 programme, presenting an exhibition dedicated to five decades of Italian sportswear, and Osti’s lasting legacy.
Taking place in Darwen from Friday until October 10, the display will feature exclusive C.P. Company archive pieces from throughout the label’s illustrious history.
Activities will run alongside this exhibition, including student workshops and panel talks, which will include speakers from the brand, as well as respected names in sportswear and casual culture.
Wayne Dixon, who has campaigned and worked towards using creativity and art to freshen up Darwen, said: “I think it’s absolutely brilliant.
“Gaz Aspden has put Darwen on the map and a lot of us in Darwen are big fans of Adidas and what he has done there.
“For me, the more murals and fantastic pieces of art we can have in the town, the better. We’ve so many blank canvases that could really give the place a lift.
“It’s not just the artwork itself that is great for us residents, but the interest that it’ll bring to Darwen. Adidas are a huge, huge company and people will come from far and wide to see it.
“It’s another plus for Darwen. I really hope there is more to come.”
Luke Shaw mural in Darwen
But not everyone is as impressed by the mural, as hundreds of Manchester United fans took to social media to joke that it resembled Eric Cantona, rather than Shaw.
Mr Dixon said: “I know some folk have said this or that about how much it looks like the player, but it doesn’t matter, I hope it encourages more and I personally think it’s fantastic.”
Mr Dixon and several other people who passed by to take a picture of the mural spoke of how Aspden has “never forgotten his roots”, and that they are “proud” of his contributions to Darwen.
School children and other passers-by stopped to take selfies with the mural, and many people have been to speak to the artists, thanking them for their efforts.