Creator Series introduces the individuals who are using their inspiration and talent to push football culture forward.
Ryan Mason and the team behind Glory Mag have beautifully documented their travels from Kosovo to the Faroe Islands, looking beneath the surface of the football scene at each of their destinations.
What gave you the idea for the mag?
Being an avid football and magazine fan, I felt there was a gap in the market for a football magazine that combined travel, lifestyle and culture. After more consideration, I came up with the concept of focusing on a specific location for each issue, but places that don’t get everyday exposure.
A magazine that educated people on football across the globe and something that documented the beauty of the game in a specific area. We feel what we’re doing with Glory is accomplishing that and hopefully the readers feel the same too.
How did you get the project going?
I was moving back to my home city of Norwich after working in London for a few years and wanted a project out of my day-to-day profession. So after many train journeys and ideas on the project, I reached out to my good friend, Lee Nash, who is a creative director and owner of his own studio to see if he was interested in getting involved.
Luckily, he loved the concept and after a few meetings we identified a need for an in-house writer. We were recommended Louis through a mutual friend. Since then we’ve been working together on the direction of Glory and identified the Faroe Islands for the first issue. The reason? We felt the Faroe Islands ticked all the boxes from having a football-mad population to incredible pitches embedded into beautiful landscapes. The rest is history. We’ve got a long way to go, but we see Glory as a real labour of love and something that keeps us in touch with the beautiful game, at the same time as enabling us to be creative.
What do you want to do with Glory moving forward?
We want to continue doing what we’re doing and just see where it takes us. Hopefully more people will hear about the brand, it continues to build and we gain a loyal following. The ideal would be for Glory to be seen as a beautifully curated keepsake football publication.
What destinations are left on your list?
The good thing about what we’re doing is there are so many destinations we could venture to! Each issue takes serious time to research and plan, which means we can only produce one or two a year. Personally, I’d love to get out to Japan, somewhere in South America, Mexico and Morocco – from a photographic perspective, i believe all these destinations would have so much to offer visually and each would have a different football culture experience.
What would be your dream away day?
When it comes to Glory, my dream away day would be to travel abroad and gain a new away day experience shared with the Glory team, my camera, along with some passionate football fans and documenting the whole experience before, during and after the game.
Closer to home, my dream away day would be following my beloved Norwich City across the country. We’ve had a turbulent few seasons but it certainly makes it interesting – I’ve experienced excruciating defeats, but also victories against all odds. An away day with Norwich City sure can be unpredictable, but a sense of me loves that! I’ll never forget losing 7-1 away to Manchester City, but at the same time I will also never forget winning 1-2 away at Spurs thanks to an Elliott Bennett screamer! Now that’s the dream away day.
Most extreme experience to date?
There have been a fair few from all three locations we’ve been to with Glory. It’s hard to pinpoint one – traveling around the Faroe Islands, islands hopping, meant we experienced some unbelievable scenic views and surroundings – magical in some instances that we’ll never experience anywhere else. In Kosovo, witnessing history being made with their first ever World Cup qualifier against Croatia and seeing how much it meant to the people was another unique experience.
And, in Sweden, being allowed to speak to the Malmo supporters group on what football means to them and their city as well as having the privilege to be taken to their tifo headquarters was something I will never forget.
Is the game getting more beautiful, or less?
Without sounding pretentious, it depends how you see the game and what you perceive as the beautiful game. I think that’s another reason we started Glory was to showcase how we see it. The architecture of each stadium is fascinating to me and I love to document and capture the characteristics of each we visit.
There is also beauty in the character of football fans. The shirts, club colours, badges are also a beautiful identifier for a team and representation for fans, so we love to feature these within our issues too. Plus, not forgetting the places these teams represent.
That’s why we also feature aspects of travel and culture; things to see, places to visit, local fashion brands plus locally sourced food and drink to taste. All these aspects are interlinked with the whole football experience and what we believe contributes to the beauty of the game.