Leeds' character

All Together | Kate Schultze

Written by: Moxcowhite • Daniel Chapman
Photographs by: Kate Schultze
A cool photograph by Kate Schultze of the mural next to the Lowfields tunnel with the East Stand of Elland Road it the background. Everything is grey

Kate Schultze’s photos of some of the United murals around Leeds, collected in a zine published by Lower Block, impress thanks to her skills: a social documentarian working in medium format, fascinated by the interactions between architecture and culture. Each photo emphasises how each mural is embedded in its place, and makes that place feel like more.

A photograph by Kate Schultze taken on Whitehall Road in Leeds, of a long low wall decorated by a mural celebrating Luke Ayling's volley against Huddersfield, painted by Burley Banksy
Photograph by Kate Schultze

“I’ve got a soft spot for northern housing estates and industrial sites,” she says in the zine’s introduction, “Which often serve as interesting spaces for the oddest football grounds.” And that’s right. Who hasn’t walked down to Elland Road and wondered, at least once, why anyone would put a football ground there, of all places? And isn’t that part of what makes it, in the words of the 1972 FA Cup final song (a side), the only place for us?

Murals, whether through a large scale project by Leeds United Supporters’ Trust or the guerrilla dedication of Burley Banksy, have spread across the city since 2020, bringing visibility to a connection that has endured, in our one club town, through the broken up messes of the 2010s. Kate, who is originally from Berlin and now works both here and there, has found football’s influence everywhere in Leeds.

A photograph by Kate Schultze taken at Elland Road, with a bit of the north-east corner stand to the left, looking at Mateusz Klich's Champions mural and a junction box painted by Burley Banksy
Photograph by Kate Schultze

“Some people say Leeds is the Berlin of the North,” she told me over email, “I’d probably disagree but maybe that’s just me — and subconsciously I agree too, ha. The thing with Leeds is that it’s so strongly connected to LUFC — you walk past murals, games are shown at pubs. In Berlin you have to look for places that do that (the further away from the centre you go the easier it is). Looking back at these pictures, especially connected with the architectural features that the north just has, does make me feel warm and nostalgic. For me that’s about the connection between the city and football. It’s like a part of Leeds’ character.” ⬢

LUFC All Together by Kate Schultze is available direct from Lowerblock.com
You can buy it in Leeds from Village in Thornton’s Arcade (online at Villagebooks.co)
Kate Schultze’s website is KateSchultze.com, and Instagram is @_katesch

(This post is free to read from The Square Ball magazine season 34 issue 4. Click here to read more)

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