Artist works for 2,000 hours illustrating history of football in single image

James McMath

12 Jan 2017

Updated: 11 Nov 2023

A talented artist has spent thousands of hours to capture the entire history of football in one single image.

Illustrator Alex Bennett, 35, is the genius creator of Football Mishmash - a cartoon that highlights memorable moments from the Beautiful Game.

Alex, a Watford supporter, has created five Mishmashes and is working on a sixth.

His work includes:

  • Football Mishmash - The History of Football in One Image' (2013)
  • Wrestling Mishmash - The History of Modern Wrestling in One Image' (2014)
  • Rugby Mishmash - The History of Rugby Union in One Image (2015)
  • Watford Mishmash - The History of Watford Football Club in One Image (2016)
  • West Ham Mishmash - The History of West Ham United in One Image (2016)

Alex, who lives in Hazlemere, near High Wycombe, with wife Simone and three-year-old son Jack, told Profit Accumulator about his job.

Which has been your most popular MishMash?

They have all been well received, but I would have to say Football Mishmash has been the most popular.

I believe I've sold over 6,500 copies of it since I released it in May 2013.

It has been made into a jigsaw in Germany, a huge mural in a football fanatic's house in Romania, been a mural at football festival in Peru & Paris and has featured on Soccer AM and in several national, newspapers and magazines.

It's certainly been worthwhile and has exceeded all my expectations!

Why do you think they appeal to people?

Hopefully, because they find it a fun & unique way to view the history of a sport/team they love.

How long does each take? Is it your full-time job?

Football Mishmash took me just over a year to complete.

At the time though I wasn't able to focus on it as much as I can now due to other work commitments.

I'd estimate each one takes me between 1,500-2,000 hours to finish although it's hard to tell exactly as I spend quite a bit of time researching certain incidents & I don't have a stop clock next to my sketch pad!

No matter what else I've got on I try to add at least three things every day to whatever one I am working on at the time.

I do a fair bit of other illustration work, including stuff for Watford, West Ham & Swansea City Football Clubs. You can view my stuff in their match day programmes.

Do you have a personal favourite part of any of the illustrations?

In each one, I make sure I include a family member.

For example, in the Watford version, I have drawn myself carrying my son into the middle of the pitch. I drew this from a photo my wife took of us when I took him to his first ever game.

This is just part one of my masterplan to brainwash him fully into being a Watford fan for life ... poor kid!

You're working on a British Music Mishmash, is that right?

Yes, I started it in late November 2016.

I thought it would be a good idea to get away from sport for a year! Depending on how long this one takes, I'll try & also get another one done by the end of the year, possibly another football club.

What does the future hold - have you got plenty of ideas for more?

The possibilities are endless. Since people have seen my Watford and West Ham versions, the amount of requests I have had from people asking for me to 'Mishmash' their club have been incredible.

I'd also like to do several other sports.

You can buy Alex's work from his website and follow him on Twitter.