A huge mural of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has appeared near the Etihad Stadium. The amazing artwork has been painted by two talented street artists on the gable end of a house on the Beswick housing estate facing the Blues’ home.
And locals say it has already attracted a huge amount of attention and caused traffic jams, despite not yet being fully finished.
It has been created byMurWalls, founded by its CEO Mark Silver in 2019 and which works brings together some of the country’s best street artists and works with a number of different brands and organisations to create bespoke pieces.
They have been behind a number of high-profile football-related murals including the painting of Sergio Aguero in the Northern Quarter unveiled shortly before his departure from the club in 2021, and a number of murals of Liverpool players and legends near Anfield.
The incredibly lifelike image of the City boss, who has become a legend with fans after winning nine major trophies since his arrival at the Etihad in 2016, has been painted by renowned graffiti artists Mr Meana and Snotone on a wall facing the former Mercedes garage just off Ashton New Road.
They had been working on the piece for more than seven hours when the Manchester Evening News visited the mural on Tuesday afternoon, having begun work on it on Monday night. They said they were expecting to put the finishing touches and have it completed to later in this evening.
Mr Meana said it has been in the pipeline for several years now. “It’s about time he had one,” the West Ham supporting artist said. “Everything thing he’s done in the Premier League and elsewhere, you’ve got to respect the man. He’s a legend of the sport.
“Whoever you support, his football has been unbelievable. Other teams have either had to out-muscle it or match it and you can see the effect with other teams trying to play like City.”
And he said they had already had an overwhelmingly positive reaction. “We’ve had loads of people saying how much they like it and already coming up taking pictures. We’ve had a couple of United fans shouting ‘take it down’ but other than that the feedback has been brilliant so far
“The locals have been great as well coming out and offering us food and cups of tea. There’s a lot of pressure to get it right, especially painting someone’s face at this scale. But it’s really good fun
“And its nice to know we’re doing something that means so much to so many people. If we can put a smile on people’s faces, even for a moment, that’s what it’s all about.
“It will definitely become part of the matchday experience now I think, to come and have your photo with the Pep mural.”
Lesley Kelly, 63, whose house on Viking Street it has been painted on the side of said she loves it. Lesley, herself a City and who has lived on the street for over 30 years said: “MurWalls approached me two years ago now but it was delayed because of Covid and other things.
“But then we spoke again and their CEO came down and had a meeting with me. It’s for the community. And they do a lot for the community and for charity which is why I said yes.
“It brightens up the whole area. And as I see it, the more people that come and visit it the more they will spend in the local shops bringing money into the area.
“This morning I took my granddaughter to school and all the traffic was slowing down to have a look so I had to go the long way round! Loads of people have been pulling up taking pictures as well. The lads have been fantastic, they couldn’t have done a better job.”