Men's Team

93:20: A moment in time

13th May 2012: A date already etched into the very fabric of Manchester City’s recent history, has been immortalised once again.

93:20: A moment in time, attempts to encapsulate the pandemonium that followed Sergio Aguero’s title-winning strike against Queens Park Rangers from a unique perspective.

After previously working on projects such as Manchester City Team of the Decade, Australian painter Jamie Cooper’s latest commission from the Club attempts to blur the lines between player and fan celebrations to create what he describes as ‘one blue heaven’.

Aguero appears front and centre, joined by fellow scorers Pablo Zabaleta and Edin Dzeko while Mario Balotelli, the man who set up the Argentine’s winning strike, and a celebrating Joe Hart also feature.

But it’s the jubilant scenes behind our City heroes that form both the backbone of the piece and, in his eyes, the moment itself.

“This painting to me is about so much more than what happened on the pitch,” he explains.

“That’s what football is all about. It’s about the fans, I’ve seen that moment when the entire stadium explodes, and the crowd goes crazy.

“You see mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, people who don’t even know each other all hugging.

“To me that’s what the moment’s about, people who have waited 44 years finally had their moment.”

WATCH: Jamie Cooper on 93:20 canvas

When delving deeper into the painting, Cooper’s words on the importance of the fans are proven to be far more than a touching sentiment.

Indeed, the Australian tasked himself with intricately capturing each different emotion etched on the faces of almost 100 City supporters.

But what is perhaps all the more impressive is that each of the figures in the crowd is someone who was there to witness one of the greatest moments in the Club’s history with their own eyes.

Matthew and Louise Hession are two such supporters who as brother and sister proudly owned a season ticket in the Etihad Stadium’s South Stand.

“Growing up as a City fan, we could always grab a defeat from the jaws of victory,” Matthew jokes as he recalls the day’s events.

“It was a bit surreal, it started off so well and then at 2-1 (to QPR) we’re thinking ‘wow, we’ve really messed this one up, haven’t we?’

“You never sat down in the South Stand, you always stood up and having banter with the away fans, but I think for the first time that season I just sat on the top of my seat in disbelief.

“(But) when Aguero smashed it into the back of the net, in the picture you can see the complete and utter shock in my face.

“After that it was just carnage, everybody was jumping around, people were falling over just grabbing each other. I was hugging people I’ve only known for a few games and jumping around like an absolute idiot!”

When Matthew had collapsed into his seat in utter despair after QPR had taken the unlikeliest of leads, it was his sister Louise who had goaded him back to his feet.

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Even a decade on, the famous day remains a truly significant moment in her life.

“I remember talking to Matthew, because he was gutted. He was saying ‘it’s always the same’, he’s younger than me and was saying ‘I’ve had this all my life’.”

“To this day it’s still the best day of my life. From feeling really confident in the morning, to then thinking we’d thrown it away, then to how it ended... it would never ever would happen to anybody else but us!

“Even when I watch it now on the telly, I know what’s happening, but I still get emotional watching it.

“It’s brilliant, and the painting looks amazing. The picture we’ve got of us is exactly (how I remember it).

“It’s history, and it feels great to be a part of it.”

The nerves were too much for Beverley Clarke-Fernandez, who couldn’t even bring herself to follow the match on television.

Coming from a long line of staunch City supporters, the family were represented at the Etihad Stadium on that famous day by her son, Elliott, and her father.

Elliott had spent the majority of his childhood as a ball boy at the Etihad Stadium and, when he became too tall for the role, getting hold of a season ticket to cheer on the team he loved was a natural progression.

Sadly, the 19-year-old was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer four years later, tragically losing his battle in January 2017.

But while Elliott wasn’t captured in the crowd on that day in May 2012 – instead racing onto the pitch following the final whistle - Cooper was desperate for him to be a part of the celebrations in his interpretation.

His mother Beverley recalls: “Just like my dad and all of our family, Elliott bled blue. He was on the pitch that day, I think I’ve got a photo of him with every single player!

“I couldn’t bear it, I couldn’t even look (at the TV)! What a day.

“When Jamie (Cooper) contacted me, he said he wanted to put Elliott in the crowd because he knew how much it meant to him on that day. I was thrilled to bits.

“I gave the painting to my dad for Christmas, and he just lost it. They were best friends, they were extremely close.”

The heart-warming and passionate accounts of those who feature within the painting vindicate Cooper’s reasons for focusing on the supporters in his latest work.

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And as Matthew Hession explains, the sense of pride that comes from being immersed in one of the Club’s greatest moments is felt just as keenly today as it was a decade ago.

“It’s just amazing (to be featured. We’re essentially part of City’s history because whenever that goal’s shown, we will be there,” he points out.

“When the artist got in touch I couldn’t believe it, it was incredible.

“He’s chosen us out of that section – he’s seen the sheer disbelief on my face and thought ‘that’s class’. It’s unbelievable (to be featured).”

93:20: A moment in time is now available to purchase by clicking here.

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