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MARK LEECH
I started at Sporting Pictures agency in Holborn, as a darkroom junior at sixteen year old, at a time when David Bowie was in the charts with ‘The Laughing Gnome’. It was a wonderful place to learn photography skills from amazing photographers, as I’d joined without ever owning a camera.

Having learned a lot in a short time, I started working for myself in 1977 and having kept most of my archive images, formed Offside in 2001.

My main award remains the Barclays Photographer of the 20 Seasons, awarded in 2012 and judged to be the best set of images from all the photographers working in the Premier League since its inception.
GERRY CRANHAM
1929-2023

“Often I think I would have been better off as a painter.” Gerry Cranham, 1967

Gerry Cranham turned to photography when an injury cut his running career short. While coaching budding amateurs at Herne Hill Harriers, Cranham would photograph the athletes in an attempt to highlight posture, technique and gait. Runners started buying prints and he saw his first photo published at the age of 28. In 1959, he became a full-time freelance photographer.

Gerry knew the race was often won or lost off the final bend – you wouldn’t catch him by the finish line. But you would find him out early, in the unforgiving back streets of Govan before an Old Firm fixture at Ibrox or in the side streets off the King’s Road capturing Chelsea fans preparing for the 1970 FA Cup final or in the middle of a roundabout snapping a monumental traffic jam outside the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, prior to the World Cup final.

In 1971, Gerry Cranham became one of the first photographers to have a solo exhibition at the V&A, second only to Henri Cartier-Bresson. His prints were amongst the first to be displayed in colour along the museum halls and his work still remains in their collection to this day.

Cranham is widely regarded as one of the foremost practitioners in the industry, pioneering a new wave of sports photography both intimate and action-packed, capturing the humanity and thrill of sport.

Gerry introduced techniques to the British photography scene still popular in modern practice; “I was inspired by the Time Life way of doing things, creating picture essays in colour. I’d always try and do something different.” He was one of the first to use a remote camera, producing his iconic frame of Tottenham goalkeeper John Hollowbread jumping to keep warm on a freezing January day at White Hart Lane in 1964.

Despite his drive and talent, Gerry remained modest until the end, deflecting praise with a reply as to why he rarely missed a shot: “I had five kids to feed, I couldn’t afford to miss”

The Gerry Cranham archive boasts over 50,000 remarkable images in both black and white and colour, dating from 1959 to 1985. It includes exclusive portraits of boxer Mohammad Ali, racing drivers James Hunt, Graham Hill, and Stirling Moss, tennis players John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg, and snooker’s Alex Higgins.

Major sporting events covered by Cranham include the 1966 and 1970 Football World Cup, the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, international cricket test matches, cycle races, the Le Mans 24 Hours and many Formula One Grand Prix clashes.
SIMON STACPOOLE
Originally from Suffolk, Simon Stacpoole now lives with his wife and their two boys in leafy Cheshire, and has been Offside’s north-west representative for over a decade.
He joined on a freelance basis in 2006, and has since covered all manner of events right around the world, including three FIFA World Cups, three FIFA Confederations Cups, the London 2012 Olympics, numerous Wimbledon tennis championships, the Open Championship golf, the British & Irish Lions tour, and, most significantly, the World Worm Charming Championships.

Simon has been shortlisted for a number of awards over the years, and in 2014, he was named Sports Photographer of the Year by the Picture Editors' Guild.
CHARLOTTE WILSON
Charlotte Wilson has been part of Offside since 2013. Charlotte started as part of the office team, sorting and scanning Offside's expansive film archive - the modern day equivalent of beginning your photography career in the darkroom.

Though she still plays a big role in the office, Charlotte has progressed to working pitch side as a photographer. Over the years, cold and wet Tuesday nights down at Millwall have turned into top fixtures at Premier League grounds, Champions League Finals and International matches. In the summer of 2019, Charlotte also became the first Offside photographer to cover a Women's World Cup.
JACQUES FEENEY
Jacques joined the Offside team in December 2021 initially on a freelance basis shooting smaller Premier League matches alongside working with other agencies such as Getty Images and PA Media.

After gaining invaluable experience for the remainder of that season, he joined on a more permanent basis for the 2022/23 season while continuing to progress his photographic abilities and has since gone on to shoot crucial Champion's League and Premier League matches. He also plays a part behind the scenes, often helping out the other photographers by editing their matches and runs the Welloffside Live Instagram account
CAPTURING THE HEART
AND SOUL OF SPORT
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