The Guardian photographer Denis Thorpe was driving through Nottinghamshire in March 1984, after visiting a colliery where there had been a confrontation between police and pickets, when he spotted a pit head in the distance. As he drove closer, he could see a crowd, so he went to investigate. The police and pickets were playing football.
“It was one of those extraordinary moments,” says Thorpe. “It reminded me of the Christmas Day truce during the first world war.” Thorpe waited for a good action shot, and got his picture. “I rang the office, and they didn’t believe me,” he says. It made the front page the following day. These were the early days of the miners’ strike, before things turned really ugly, and Thorpe never saw anything like it again. And if you look closely, you can see a policeman’s helmet being used as a goalpost.
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