A striking street art portrait of England football coach Sarina Weigman was painted in Birmingham to honour the inspirational sportswoman described as a “legend” by football fans.

Birmingham-based artist Adam Illes recently painted the large scale mural on a Digbeth canal wall as Weigman was interviewed in the city.

Illes told I Am Birmingham that he was approached by Khalid & Sophie – a Dutch talk show hosted by Khalid Kasem and Sophie Hilbrand – to paint the portrait of Weigman in the urban landscape of Digbeth as Brummies in the city centre were interviewed by a documentary crew about the impact of the much-loved football coach on the women’s national game.

A Dutch TV presenter interviews Brummies about Sarina WeigmanKhalid & Sophie
A Dutch TV presenter interviews Brummies about Sarina Weigman

Illes, who painted a powerful Mahatma Gandhi mural calling for peace along the same stretch of canal that runs under Great Barr Street, said it was a real “pleasure” to paint a tribute to an inspirational woman who brought so much joy to the nation when the English lionesses sensationally won the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 trophy.

Speaking about the art, Illes said: “I was approached by a Dutch TV crew from a programme called Khalid & Sophie, as they were shooting an interview with Lionesses boss Sarina, last week.

“As the interview took place in Birmingham, they had an idea to use the city’s urban surroundings and involve some street art in their piece.

“We looked into different locations, and chose to paint the tribute piece by the infamous canals of the second city.”

Birmingham artist Adam Illes painted the Weigman portrait in DigbethRangzeb Hussain
Birmingham artist Adam Illes painted the Weigman portrait in Digbeth

The striking new mural by Illes will not be visible to motorists due to the location where its painted, but those lucky enough to be walking or cycling along the Fazeley canal will be treated to an inspirational work of art.

The portrait, painted on the wall of a warehouse facing the canal, shows Weigman in full flow in her role as a football coach, with the England flag fluttering behind her like a banner on a battlefield.

The white and red paint seems to glimmer and glow in the gloom of the old canal, and the soft grey pastel type effect on Weigman’s face gives the portrait a monochromatic atmosphere.

The artist uses subtle poetry in his work by outlining Weigman’s portrait in red and white to symbolise the colours of the England flag.

Illes, 34, uses street art techniques to paint photo realistic art, geometric patterns and lines, and futuristic graphic designs in his vibrant and eye-catching material.

Street artist Adam Illes, 34, was born in Hungary, moved to Ireland as a teenager and then relocated to BirminghamSupplied / Adam Illes
Street artist Adam Illes is based in Birmingham

Born in Hungary and having moved to Ireland to live and work when he was 18, Illes relocated to Birmingham in 2018 where he continued to pursue his passion for painting.

The former hotel manager has previously painted his pop art-style graffiti in derelict buildings, the interiors of bars and restaurants, and sanctioned spaces around the city, and also taken part in street art festivals in Birmingham and around the country.

His projects include volunteer work and commissions, and one of the key themes in his art is the Sufi pursuit of cosmic equilibrium and peace.

The fiery and inspirational tribute seems to 'leap' off the wallRangzeb Hussain
The fiery and inspirational tribute to Weigman seems to ‘leap’ off the wall

Illes siad he was inspired by a quote by street artist Banksy when painting the Weigman portrait: “I think the quote that resonates the most with me regarding the portrait of Sarina Wiegman is one from Banksy – ‘Winners.. Are not those who never fail, but those who never quit’ – those words struck a chord with me.”

Weigman, 53, who was born in The Hague, steered the England women’s football team to an incredible triumph which boosted public morale and also inspired young girls to rise above antiquated social stereotypes.

For her work in guiding the England women’s team to spectacular success Weigman was honoured with the UEFA Women’s Coach of the Year Award for the 2021-22 season.

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