The Guardian’s sport photographer Tom Jenkins gives his perspective of covering the national sport behind closed doors in football’s strangest year

It’s day two of lockdown 2 and a perfect night for watching football: cold and crisp with a slight mist descending. Ninety minutes before the kick-off, I’m outside St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton. Around me is the occasional patrolling steward and a few TV technicians carrying kit into the ground. The silence is interrupted only by the cracks of fireworks from across the city.

Suddenly a loud bellow from just beyond the waist-high perimeter fencing shocks me. “Come on you Reds,” a cyclist shouts as he pedals by. He looks at me and shrugs: “Well someone has to say it, haven’t they?” On he goes, repeating his chant as he disappears into the darkness. By the end of the evening, Southampton will be top of the Premier League for the first time.

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