Manchester mosaic artist Mark Kennedy, who’s work is sponsored by Laticrete, has been working closely with Manchester City Football Club for over a decade.
Manchester City first approached Kennedy when the old Maine Road Stadium was being demolished to make way for the spectacular Etihad Stadium built when Manchester hosted to the XVII Commonwealth Games in 2002.
When the old club was being demolished, Kennedy was asked to remove two large mosaics from the main stand entrances and recreate one for the Memorial Garden in the Etihad grounds. This is a place for fans and their families to take time to reflect and remember a loved one. The quiet and peaceful garden is located to the right of the Colin Bell Stand and is accessible to all, free of charge.
Later Kennedy was asked to create two pieces for a Joe Mercer OBE tribute who, after his successful playing career, became Manager of Manchester City and went on to enjoy great success between 1965 and 1971; winning the 1967–68 First Division championship in 1967-68, the FA Cup in 1969, and the League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970.
These original mosaics were unveiled by Norah Mercer, Joe’s widow and Stuart Pearce MBE, a former player and coach under Kevin Keegan OBE until being promoted to the Manager’s job, which he held from 2005 to 2007. The pieces stood for a decade but the materials used weren’t up to the hostile open environment at the ground.
Manchester City contacted Kennedy again this year and it was at this point that he contacted Laticrete UK, with whom he has worked closely over the past few years, and a full Laticrete Tiling Specification was written. The original mosaics were fixed onto timber, which is not suitable for external use under these conditions. Instead a lightweight, waterproof tile-backer board was specified with fully vitrified tiles.
Laticrete 254 Platinum adhesive and Laticrete Spectralock Pro Premium Grout was specified for their outstanding proven performance especially in demanding situations. These restored pieces were recently unveiled by Mike Summerbee: one of the most influential players in the Manchester City side that won four trophies from 1968 to 70.
Kennedy was then asked by the club to create two more mosaics, one which would be a tribute to Sir Howard Bernstein who was the Chief Executive of Manchester City Council from 1998 to 2017. Sir Howard is credited with devising and presiding over Manchester’s rebirth following the 1996 IRA bomb, brokering Manchester City investment in east Manchester, championing the Metrolink and bringing the 2002 Commonwealth Games to the city.
The tribute to Sir Howard Bernstein is installed on a pathway outside the Etihad Stadium which has been named in his honour. The mosaic features images of Manchester Town Hall, the Beetham Tower, Urbis and the Etihad Stadium itself.
The second recently-completed mosaic is installed in the grounds of Manchester City Football Club Academy and depicts the development of the facilities around the stadium, including a collection of new community education, sports and leisure facilities. Kennedy was assisted in creating these two pieces by an up and coming mosaic artist; Mary Goodwin from Yorkshire.
Both these mosaics were unveiled at a Civic Dinner held in honour of Sir Howard Bernstein at Manchester Town Hall for his extraordinary contribution to Manchester City Council and Manchester City Football Club.. The dinner, organised by the council, was a chance for Bernstein to thank representatives of the public, business, academic, cultural and sporting sectors who have worked closely alongside the council over the years. A short film about Mark Kennedy and his work was shown at the dinner.
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