From the first Artscape stadium project in Cardiff, to creating hundreds of etched plaques and dedications at Anfield, Hardscape is constantly improving and developing its offering for stonework at stadiums.

The first pitch

In 2002 Will Young & Gareth Gates were topping the charts, England had fallen short to Brazil in the World Cup Quarter-Finals and Manchester hosted the Commonwealth Games. Meanwhile, in South Wales, Hardscape was making history, as the company’s unique Artscape technology made its debut at a major football stadium. Kicking off at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff (previously known as the Millennium Stadium), Hardscape supplied materials to pave the landscape area outside the arena. The goal was to create a bespoke design that would reflect the football club’s heritage. Hardscape hit the back of the net, so to speak, by delivering a series of concrete blocks featuring the red Welsh dragon with the word “Cardiff” (written both in Welsh and English) etched onto the paving in green.

Sixteen years on and Hardscape has become a leading supplier of hard landscaping materials for football clubs across the UK, thanks to its collaborative approach working alongside sports marketing company Your Tribute Ltd.

‘Anfield Forever’

A more recent of Hardscape’s work with Your Tribute Ltd, can be seen with the project they recently delivered at Liverpool FC. Here, Hardscape supplied hundreds of personalised tributes purchased by Liverpool fans. Cast in granite, each of the stones were meticulously hand engraved with personalised messages and a unique issue number, before being carefully packaged up, ready for their permanent ‘away day’ at Anfield. The stones are situated in the landscaped walkway area along 96 Avenue at Anfield stadium. Each stone tells a different story and together will create a space for fans to share lasting memories and explore what the club means to others. Alongside fans’ memories and dedications, player and managerial history will share the walkway giving fans an insight into the club’s history.

On the bench

As well as supplying personalised granite slabs to Anfield, Hardscape also used specialist stone masonry techniques on polished Kobra granite benches and delivered them to site. Using advanced methods, which have been developed since the earlier Cardiff project, specialist machinery (including a sandblaster and waterjet machine) was used to create the art on each individual unit. The benches boast Tino Red granite banding on the front and sides, as well as Mist granite paving banding, with Kobra and Crystal Black used for the infilled lettering. These benches are a key standout feature of the tribute walkway due to the personal and heartfelt messages that are etched on each of them, marking a significant moment in the club’s illustrious history. They also all feature the iconic red colour of Liverpool F.C, for an added touch of class.

Upping our game

Since the initial Cardiff project was completed, ideas and technology have come a long way in terms of stone masonry, as well as the mentality of modern football clubs to keep in touch with their fans using fresh methods. Your Tribute offers the chance for fans to become one with the club and almost become a part of their history through personal and permanent tributes. Hardscape is proud to be a part of this and supply high quality materials, so football fans all over the country will see the longevity in their tributes.

Kevin O’Brien, Your Tribute owner said “Quality of materials and application of the personalisation, are two of the key components that go into making a venue personalisation project a success. Hardscape consistently delivers on both and with a robust and ethical sourcing network in place, I can be confident that the final product is going to meet both mine and my clients’ expectations.”

Client/Sports Marketing Company: Your Tribute Ltd; Contractor: King Construction; Paving materials supplier and Artscape production: Hardscape