Yesterday evening a delegation from The Lowry attended the Modern British & Irish Art Sale at Christie’s in London, where they successfully bid to buy and keep LS Lowry’s ‘Going to the Match’.
The iconic painting cost a record breaking £7.8 million, the highest ever paid for a Lowry.
The purchase was made possible thanks to the generous support of The Law Family Charitable Foundation.
The iconic painting has been on display at The Lowry since 2000, on loan from the PFA (Professional Footballers Association).
Painted in 1953, it depicts burgeoning crowds outside Burnden Park, the former home of Bolton Wanderers.
It was close to Lowry’s former home in Pendlebury, although the artist was a long-suffering supporter of Manchester City.
The painting was being sold to raise money for the professional footballers’ charitable foundation, who have had to sell it because of the financial crisis.
It was last sold in 1999, when the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), the union for current and former players, paid £1.9m.
At the time, Gordon Taylor, then chief executive of the PFA said it was “quite simply the finest football painting ever.”
It would be the PFA’s “prized possession”, he added.