The first confirmed pictures of Banksy have just been released . . .
. . . but the artist's face has been blurred out.
This is a fascinating story--apparently at one point Banksy was an amateur soccer goalkeeper, and he travelled with his local UK team, the Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls, in travelling to Mexico. While there, Banksy painted a few murals and got up on the streets. The Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls are now releasing a new book featuring the history of the club, including Banksy's involvement.
Banksy's murals are early, but bear his signature revolutionary flaire.
Apparenlty this is Banksy. However, the pictures have been pixilated in order to protect Banksy's identity. Dig that these pictures do not reveal the man of mystery. Banksy is best in our book as an anonymous superhero~
You can read the full story down below.
From The Daily Mail:
Mr Simpson said: 'He went on tour with us to Mexico in 2001 and painted a number of murals in the community.
'He came out with us on our second tour of Mexico - he did a few murals and played in goal for a bit. He wasn’t a bad goalie actually.
New release: The Freedom Through Football: The Story of the Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls book featuring Banksy is now on sale
'Shortly after he might have moved to London - we see him every so often when he comes back to Bristol.'
The ground-breaking community football team was founded in the Easton area of Bristol, close to where Banksy grew up, in 1992.
It prides itself as being 'Britain’s most intrepid sport club' and sends teams of amateur players to play in troubled communities all over the world.
They were the first European team to play in the war-torn West Bank and in 2000 their cricket team played a two-day test against Compton Homies and Popz, in the crime-ridden area of Los Angeles.
Mr Simpson said: 'The Cowboys is unique in that we don’t define ourselves as a socialist team or anarchist team, we are a sports team that has a political dimension.
'We’re anti-racist, anti-sexist, we’re against homophobia. We try to foster an inclusive atmosphere.
'Most football teams are 15 to 20 blokes but Cowboys and Cowgirls is a massive community.
'We have 200 people on the mailing list and about 150 people playing sports.
'We invite people of all backgrounds and abilities - you don’t have to play a sport to be part of Cowboys.
'Even if they cheer them from the touchline, we’ve lots and lots of non-playing cowboys and cowgirls.
Banksy joined them for a tour to Mexico in 2001 - when he was aged around 27 or 28 - where they played against the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
Led by the indigenous people of the Chiapas Mountains, the non-violent human rights group is fighting for freedom from the Mexican government.
Since finding fame Banksy has helped raise over £100,000 to support the club, including donating artwork to auction and designing a T-shirt.
He also donated a painting which was raffled off to raise money for water projects in a poor area of south-west Mexico.
Mr Simpson added: 'He’s a nice bloke - we still see him every now and again when he pops into The Plough when he’s back in Bristol.'
To celebrate the club’s 20th anniversary, Mr Simpson and fellow Cowboy Malcolm McMahon have written a book chronicling the club’s history and featuring previously-unseen pictures.
Banksy’s true identity has never been confirmed and no picture of him as ever been verified.
He was originally believed to be a Robert or Robin Banks born in Yate near Bristol in the mid 1970s.
In 2004 a picture emerged which reportedly showed Banksy working on an art project in Kingston, Jamaica, but it was denied by the artist himself.
It has most recently been claimed that Banksy’s true identity is Robin Gunningham, a middle-class former public schoolboy from Bristol.
***All pics from Tangent Books. Story sourced from the Huffington Post***