G-CHECK #13

EDWARD VAN GILS

Street football legend and founder of Streetkings

The G-Check series are our lighthearted conversations with friends from the industry. Original thinkers who share their passions and views with us. Next up is Edward van Gils, The Godfather of Street Football, three-time world champion and captain of the Ronaldinho Globe street team.

“Edward van Gils, 44, Zaandam, Founder of StreetKings. I started out as an eleven-a-side player, almost made it pro. Played in the national youth team and for several pro clubs. After a big mistake I made in life I ended up leaving the club and went back onto the streets. When the And1 mixtapes came out I converted those moves into street football and quickly made a name for myself. Now I’m the captain of the Ronaldinho Globe Street Team, a character in FIFA VOLTA as an end boss, founder of StreetKings, and a three-time world champion.”


The G-Check series are our lighthearted conversations with friends from the industry. Original thinkers who share their passions and views with us. Next up is Edward van Gils, The Godfather of Street Football, three-time world champion and captain of the Ronaldinho Globe street team.

“Edward van Gils, 44, Zaandam, Founder of StreetKings. I started out as an eleven-a-side player, almost made it pro. Played in the national youth team and for several pro clubs. After a big mistake I made in life I ended up leaving the club and went back onto the streets. When the And1 mixtapes came out I converted those moves into street football and quickly made a name for myself. Now I’m the captain of the Ronaldinho Globe Street Team, a character in FIFA VOLTA as an end boss, founder of StreetKings, and a three-time world champion.”


We’re kicking off with a retrospective exhibition about design heavyweights Anthony ‘Bones’ Harrison (adidas & Arista Records) and Masta Lee (Patta & GOWTU). Both grew up with strong passions for a wide range of countercultures, and a resulting ethos to create in their own individual manners. A curated collection of works and personal artifacts such as sneaker models, ad designs and album covers shed light on a shared belief to create through personal perspectives and intuïtion. Springing from both individual contexts, two bodies of work emerge that deliver unique aesthetics as they truly stand out and break with the regular. Discover how Lee mastered sneaker design through Patta’s collaborative projects, and how Anthony would go on to produce projects for Whitney Houston, Patti Smith, The Notorious BIG, Graham Parker and many more.

Masta Lee (NL)
Coming from a background in skateboarding, DJing, fashion and photography, Lee is a self-taught polymath who’s expertise spans a significant number of creative fields. Born in the 70s, he first handedly experienced the emergence of several countercultural styles and music genres. The indebted attitude to stay true and unique to one’s own stylistic choices still serves as a blueprint and source of inspiration for his creative endeavors. Following his own path of passions would lead Lee to working on some of Patta's most celebrated designs and directing the brand’s media outputs, to now being GOWTU’s Art Director.

Anthony ‘Bones’ Harrison (UK)
From an early age Anthony’s wide ranging taste in musical styles and fashions next to his interests in product packaging, football jerseys and album covers were early predictions towards a career in design. Having started his career through internships at Jive Records and The Source magazine, Anthony landed his first design role at Arista Records rising to Art Director at age 24. Fast forward and he would take on senior roles for global sportswear corporations such as Nike and adidas. As Senior Director of Design Culture at adidas, Anthony’s current role is about inspiring and nurturing the design community.

Commemorative BYBORRE Pouch
In celebration of the occasion, Lee, Anthony and GOWTU turned to their friends at BYBORRE to create a commemorative pouch and fabric. As the design duo ventured into a new medium through BYBORRE’s Create™ textile design software, the resulting knit reads “Do it to death, Do it to do it” in the ever bold Cooper black typeface. J Dilla’s invigorating line in unison with the serif typeface aptly echoes the duo’s shared stance on culturally indebted design that unapologetically follows its own narrative. Free from corporate KPI’s and democratic market conformity, and always from a strong cultural vision and a passion for distinctive aesthetics. The commemorative pouch, produced in a limited run, will be available for purchase at the event.

Who or what inspires you right now?
Anything really. I’m like a sponge, so everything can inspire me. That’s why I love traveling, meeting new people, new cultures, sub-cultures, hearing new music, art.. Uurrrrthing.

What new skill would you like to pick up?
Developing vaccines. LOL.

What should we watch?

You should watch your own documentary while we have the time to reflect on our lives. Most likely not on Netflix yet, but I’m sure if you watch it, you can learn a lot from it. I know I did. But if you ask me what keeps me entertained at the moment and what I would recommend, it is The Queen’s Gambit.

What should we listen to?

If you know please tell me! I’m an old hip hop head, and slowly, due to aging, I lost connection with the underground scene and I’m not a fan of the “popular” hip hop of today.. But I don’t have enough knowledge to have an opinion on today’s music. To be honest, I love to listen to my 90s hip hop, R&B and slow jams…

How did you get through 2020?
Oh man.. I’m still processing 2020 to be honest. So much shit apart from Covid-19 happened. I just numbed myself, closed my eyes and took it like a man. But like a lot of people it also brought me some good energy, because the family bond got closer. I also had the time to reflect on everything I’ve done within the last 20 years and the most important thing to me is that I realize what is important again.. And it ain’t money, succes or fame!

Describe your favorite (off-screen) activity?

Being with my family, walking the dog together on the beach with a clear sky, a little breeze and surrounded with all smiles and positive energy.  

Which artist (or athlete) should we keep an eye on?

Joshua Zirkzee from Parma Calcio.

How are you going to own 2021?

In 2020 we had the time to prepare for 2021. A lot has been postponed, not cancelled. Due to having extra time we got bigger and better plans for our big partners and sponsors. So yea we ready! I can’t say much, but believe me, you will notice once life goes back to “normal”. As always, we either do it big or we don’t do it at all.. We will create another tsunami in the street football world with what we’ve got in the pipeline..

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Yes. In November 2020 after a huge event with Ronaldinho in our Kingsdome, I turned off the lights. Somehow, I also turned off the soundtrack of life. I became deaf.. After a couple of days it changed into Tinnitus. Tinnitus totally changed my life. The first couple of months it made me go insane. I wanted to give up, but my family and loved ones didn’t allow me to and together we accepted my new life with my condition. Funny enough I’m happier now then I was before my high-tone pitch in both my ears. What i’m trying to say with this is that we can overcome anything in life if we accept our situation. You can’t fight and/or win everything in life. Sometimes – just sometimes – you have to accept the situation and continue life as it is. Enjoy the little things in life.. Even though it’s just listening to silence, ’cause even that is blessing!