Newcastle United Football Club fanatic John Hardisty, of Benton, Newcastle, decided to put up an 8ft stained glass window after the club's stadium was renamed.St James’ Park was renamed the ‘Sports Direct Arena’ in November, last year, sparking protest from die-hard supporters. After seeing that one fan was holding a poster with “Football is my religion. St James’ Park is my church” written on it, 64-year-old Hardisty decided to portray his favorite players in a religious manner.
Hardisty started making stained glass windows 15 years ago, in a shop in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne. He started gaining clients, and people started paying attention to his windows 8 years ago.
He took a break to travel to Russia, where he met his wife, Tatiana, but working with stained glass remains one of his hobbies.
“It was about eight years ago that I started making stained glass windows seriously and devoted some time to it. It is still a hobby but I do sell a few,” Mr. Hardisty stated to the Daily Mail.
The stained glass window features striker Papiss Demba Cissé on top, as a form of savior for the team. Cissé, who scored 13 goals in 14 games last season and helped the team qualify for the European League, is a regular Mesiah for Hardisty and most Newcastle fans.
Cissé is portrayed “at the top as Jesus Christ on the cross and then the rest as the disciples,” Hardisty explains.
The man plans to put up the window in the Edwardian house he has been living in for the last 30 years.
“I’ve lived in the same Edwardian house for about 30 years and it’s got quite a big garden, so I built a summer house there to make the windows. I work in a big hut at the bottom of the garden,” he says.