sports

Featured on Irish sports site Balls.ie

Meet The Irishman With The Best Job In The World

One of my photos featured in this piece on the popular Irish sports site Balls.ie, which ran a feature on Football Manager 2014 and Sports Interactive’s Irish employee Niall Redmond.

For those of you who are fans of the game, Football Manager 2014 launched earlier today.

Featured on BBC News London

A photo of mine of the QPR Ladies team in action made BBC News earlier in their feature of young world Junior No 3 climber Molly Thompson-Smith, daughter of QPR Ladies coach Tony Smith.

See the photo kicking in on around 35 seconds and Molly’s story here, and let’s hope after a stunning London 2012 Olympics that she gets to live her dream at Olympic level.

Crawley Town v QPR

Venue: Broadfield Stadium, Crawley

I was pitch side for this pre-season friendly and shooting for QPR fan site LoftForWords. It was an interesting event, especially considering how difficult and rapidly the light was once the match got underway.

The second-half was not very well lit at all, and took all of my concentration and expertise to nail the shots I wanted to make, but that’s what made it such an excellent challenge and one that I enjoyed immensely.

Here are some of my favourites from the day.

Harrow Borough v QPR

Venue: Earlsmead Stadium, London

I was at the pre-season friendly between Harrow Borough and Queens Park Rangers on Friday, which was the first for either side ahead of the coming football season and has been a semi-regular fixture between the teams over the years.

Here are some of my favourites I grabbed on the day.

A day of celebration in Shepherds Bush

Venue: Loftus Road Stadium and The Green Room, London

Queens Park Rangers secured their promotion back to the Premier League after a fifteen year absence on Saturday, sparking scenes of jubilation and joy around Shepherds Bush to a level not seen before.

Here’s some of the memorable photos I took from what was a wonderful day.

QPR Player of the Year Awards Dinner

Venue: Hilton London Metropole, Edgware Road

I was at the Queens Park Rangers Player of the Year Awards Dinner on Sunday, where fans mixed in with the players and management staff on what was a very enjoyable evening.

QPR won the English Championship title the night before, which added to the great vibe around the place on the night.

There were awards for the following categories:

Player of the Year 2010/11
Winner: Paddy Kenny
Runner up: Adel Taarabt
Third place: Shaun Derry

Players’ Player of the Year 2010/11
Paddy Kenny

Goal of the Season 2010/11
Adel Taarabt, second goal v Swansea City (Goal H)

Young Player of the Year 2010/11
Bruno Andrade

Well done to those who won their awards and here are some photos I grabbed from the night:

Going back in time

It was people and emotion that first drew me to photography and this was one of the first moments I captured that gave me what I was looking for over five years ago.

The story behind it is simple. A sweet old Italian man and his middle aged son were awaiting one of the biggest games in their countries history – The World Cup Semi Final between Germany and Italy. Like me, they had arrived early and had proudly placed their Italian banner in a vacant spot.

But trouble soon erupted when a nasty Italian Ultra emerged out of nowhere and put his own banner there, ripping theirs down. At the time, he had looked around weighing up whose it might be before deciding he didn’t care. But no sooner had he done it, the sweet old man confronted him and tried to prevent him from removing their banner and then all hell broke loose with the Ultra being horrendously threatening.

I hesitated at the scene. The Ultra was very aggressive and intimidating and the situation that unfolded was extremely uncomfortable. I was sat in the row behind, with nobody else blocking my view. I was just enjoying soaking up the atmosphere at the time but I knew I wanted to capture this as it unfolded.

I was nervous as I rose my camera to my eye and waited. Had he looked in my direction, he may have got cross with me too, but I was willing to take my chances and as the confrontation progressed I realised he was completely in his zone and totally unaware of my presence. I knew then that I had my shot and I just waited for the right moment, exactly when the sweet old man’s son thought the Ultra was about to strike his Dad and begged for mercy.

Some stewards eventually realised there was a lot of tension and called for help and he intimidated them too, before they eventually collared him for not even having a match ticket for this area of the stadium. He was ejected from our area, but later found his way back to the same spot during the game.

Italy went on to knock Germany out of the World Cup Finals at the Semi Final stage and then went on to win the 2006 World Cup.

I was there for that too.

QPR Christmas Open Day

Venue: Loftus Road, London

Yesterday I attended the Queens Park Rangers Christmas Open Day, where manager Neil Warnock and his coaching staff took the first-team squad through a 90 minute training session in front of the public, before the entire squad stopped to sign autographs and pose for photos with the fans.

The event was a success, despite the sub-zero temperatures and here’s some of my picks from the day.

Cherelle Albert Returns

I shot the game between QPR Ladies and Gillingham Ladies yesterday, which the Rs went on to register their first win of the season thanks to goals from Sandra Scalzi and Beth Curtis.

But the big news of the day was the return of striker Cherelle Albert, who re-signed for the club having had spells at Chelsea Ladies and Millwall Ladies and she played a massive part in both goals and was in fine form on the day. It’s great to see her back in the colours she looks best in!

Vanessa’s Leap of Faith

Venue: Kingsbury Town’s stadium, London

I grabbed this shot over the weekend of Vanessa Nicholson, who featured in goal for the QPR Ladies Reserves in their match against Brighton Ladies Reserves.

Vanessa made a string of excellent saves and demonstrated superb handling and kicking throughout the match and she also saved a penalty too!

What makes this all the more impressive is the fact that Vanessa is an outfield player who normally plays her trade in central midfield! But due to injuries and unavailability of all of the QPR Ladies goalkeepers on the day, Vanessa went into the nets and took on the responsibility with a maturity that’s well beyond her years.

For the photographers out there, this was shot with my Nikon D700 and my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII lens.