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I took a bit of a step back from shooting weekly football this year to concentrate on growing the agency I co-run and another business I run. Nonetheless, I’ve put together a set of my favourite photos of the year.

Eric Dier scores England’s winner in Berlin. It’s a fairly standard goal picture but it’s the moment England came from behind to win against Germany — always a big moment, even if it was ‘just’ a friendly. (135mm, ISO2500, 1/1250th, f2.8)
Mark Noble walks out before his testimonial. I feel the photo tells the story quite well: the ‘Home’ sign, his kids, bubbles, and his glance over to his wife and manager Slaven Bilic. (70mm, ISO400, 1/640th, f4)
Spot a theme yet? Taylor Tombides pays tribute to his late brother Dylan Tombides after scoring during Noble’s testimonial. A poignant moment during an otherwise lighthearted day. (500mm, ISO500, 1/1000th, f4)
As a West Ham fan I tried to make it down to the Boleyn as much as possible to capture it before it was gone forever. Here’s a few of my favourite photos shot at the Swansea and Arsenal matches.
Sean Dyche celebrates Burnley’s promotion to the Premier League. Steadycam doing their usual best to block photographers. (17mm, ISO1600, 1/800th, f4)
West Ham fans celebrate at the final whistle of the last ever match at the Boleyn. I applied for accreditation but I was refused, so not wanting to miss out on the last match I bought a ticket and shot this from my seat at the final whistle. (16mm, ISO2500, 1/640th, f4)
Jurgen Klopp and a Liverpool fan celebrate their goal during the UEFA Europa League Final in Basel. I was at the wrong end for everything during the match and a broken ethernet adapter meant I struggled to send anything out either, but looking back there are a few frames I’m pleased with. (400mm, ISO3200, 1/200th, f2.8 & 70mm, ISO2000, 1/1600th, f2.8)
Sevilla’s José Antonio Reyes celebrates with the Europa League trophy. (16mm, ISO3200, 1/800th, f4)
Cristiano Ronaldo kisses the Champions League trophy. Again, I was at the wrong end for both goals but some nice celes at the end made up for it. (105mm, ISO3200, 1/1250th, f3.5)
Often confetti can ruin a trophy photo but in this case it hid a messy background and made for a nice photo. (200mm, ISO3200, 1/1000th, f3.5)
Euro 2016 opening ceremony at Stade de France. (8.5mm, ISO1600, 1/200th, f8)
Payet controls the ball. I shot this within the first 10 minutes of the opening match and it’s probably my favourite action photo I shot the whole tournament. (200mm, ISO2500, 1/1000th, f4)
Russia fans attack England fans after the match. I was hesitant to include this as it’s not a ‘favourite’ photo due to the content, but it’s one of the most important I shot this year. (400mm, ISO2500, 1/800th, f2.8)
Northern Ireland’s Conor Washington tries an overhead kick. (500mm, ISO1250, 1/1600th, f4)
Portugal’s Nani celebrates scoring against Iceland. (70mm, ISO1600, 1/1600th, f2.8)
Poland’s Jakub Blaszczykowski celebrates scoring against Ukraine. (500mm, ISO2000, 1/1600th, f4)
Ashley Williams and Kyle Lafferty compete for the ball. It’s interesting how when looking back, so many of my favourite photos from the Euros were shot from the tribune. (600mm, ISO500, 1/3200th, f4)
Gareth Bale celebrates with his daughter Alba after beating Northern Ireland. (600mm, ISO1250, 1/800th, f4)
The sun sets on England’s Euro 2016 campaign as they bow out to Iceland. (12mm, ISO2000, 1/1000th, f4)
Full time as Iceland deservedly progress against England. (100mm, ISO3200, 1/1600th, f2.8)
Gareth Bale celebrates Wales reaching the semi-final. (80mm, ISO2500, 1/200th, f2.8)
The Iceland fans were all brilliant but I loved this little guy. (400mm, ISO1600, 1/800th, f3.5)
Hugo Lloris saves from Thomas Mueller. I really wanted a good remote pic from the Stade Velodrome as the roof is incredible, so I was pleased when in my last game there I looked at the back of the camera and saw this— it’s a shame the net was so thick but you can’t have it all. (21mm, ISO2500, 1/800th, f4)
Portugal celebrate winning Euro 2016. (400mm, ISO2500, 1/1600th, f2.8)
Back from the Euros, I ventured to the Olympic London Stadium for West Ham’s first match against Domzale. (24mm, ISO1250, 1/800th, f4)
England warm up before their qualifier in Slovakia. (16mm, ISO500, 1/2500th, f4)
Adam Lallana celebrates his last minute winner in Slovakia. I was the furthest out which meant I could lean right over the barrier to get a clean full length shot — a lot of the photographers inside me were blocked or had to shoot it half length. (153mm, ISO2500, 1/1600th, f3.2)
Fernando, Nicolas Otamendi and Luis Suarez clash during Manchester City’s Champions League win against Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium. (300mm, ISO2000, 1/1250th, f2.8)
In September, I started shooting for Hull City on behalf of Focus Images. Hull have been on the end of a lot of defeats but some good celebrations from Robert Snodgrass have given me some decent photos at least.
Michael Dawson celebrates his winner against Southampton. Shooting for the club has given me a bit more flexibility on where I can place remotes so I’ve been putting one up in the stands. It’s not worked out very often but occasionally it produces some nice photos. (80mm, ISO2000, 1/500th, f6.3)

After the England v Wales match we headed back to our accommodation from the first night. For all the apparently brilliant French cuisine we ended up eating at McDonald’s, again. Nothing out here seems to be open after 7pm! We got back to the house and managed to watch a rare bit of the tournament as Poland and Germany drew 0-0.

The next day we had a day off so we headed into Dieppe on the northern coast to get a decent meal and find a French data sim card. Before coming out here I bought one of these routers which is a fantastic bit of kit but we needed a sim to actually use it. After an hour queuing in an Orange shop and many language issues, we surprisingly came out with the right sim!

We headed back to the house and met up with the owners, who had come out for the weekend where much Jim Bean was drunk. A much needed day off.

Portugal v Austria

Next morning we were treated to a lovely cooked breakfast by the owners and a ride in their brilliant Tesla Model S. I’ve wanted a Tesla for a while and a (slightly scary!) 100mph drive down a French country lane did nothing to change my mind!

The match was at the Parc des Princes in Paris, which was a relatively short 2 hours away. All the venues have airport style scanners for media but they still require you to open your bags. I’d padlocked my Pelicase the night before but somehow the code had changed. I tried loads of different combinations but could not get it to open and security would not let me through without seeing inside, even though it was about to be x-rayed!

The Pelicase contained my 3 camera bodies, 70-200, 300, fisheye and remote triggers. There was nothing I could do except put it back in the car and go cap in hand to Canon, again. Normally we have to wait until 2 hours before kick-off before borrowing stuff and we’re only allowed 1 lens and 1 body, but I spoke to the ever helpful Jakki and she lent me a 400, 70-200, a 1DX Mk II and a 1DX. Phew.

As for the match, Portugal played poorly again and drew 0-0 with Austria, despite a penalty which Ronaldo duly missed. Photographing Ronaldo throwing a tantrum apparently never gets old.

Martin Harnik misses a great chance early on
Martin Harnik misses a great chance early on
Raphael Guerreiro of Portugal and David Alaba of Austria
Raphael Guerreiro of Portugal and David Alaba of Austria
Ronaldo looks dejected after a goal is disallowed
Ronaldo looks dejected after a goal is disallowed. Diddums
Portugal fans
Portugal fans

Romania v Albania

We stayed in Auxerre after the Portugal game which is about 1hr 30mins south of Paris and on the way to Lyon, to break up our journey for our next match between two European giants, Romania and Albania…

Our place in Lyon was a very quaint house which resembled a Hobbit’s cave. I managed to get my Pelicase unlocked – it turned out that one of the numbers had changed one notch, I still have no idea how.

It was our first repeat visit to a ground and knowing where the parking, media entrance and media centre were made it much easier. Despite UEFA’s best efforts it can be confusing and typically unhelpful stewards around the ground are not much good.

My priority position was not great so I decided to sit down the side, near the Romania fans. Albania won a drab match 1-0, scoring their first ever goal at a major tournament, which thankfully I got quite nicely from my position.

A general view of Parc Olympique Lyonnais
A general view of Parc Olympique Lyonnais
Armando Sadiku scores Albania's goal
Armando Sadiku scores Albania’s goal
A general view of Parc Olympique Lyonnais during the match
A general view of Parc Olympique Lyonnais during the match
Ledian Memushaj of Albania celebrates with his family at full time
Ledian Memushaj of Albania celebrates with his family at full time

Slovakia v England

Next up was England’s final group match against Slovakia in Saint-Etienne, less than an hour from Lyon. Our plan was to follow England for all 3 group matches and try and take in as many other games on the way, hence the slightly random fixtures such as Romania v Albania!

A 9 o’clock kick off allowed us to have a good lay-in for once and we arrived at about 3pm. I’d never get to a match 6 hours early in England but there’s a lot to do and time seems to disappear before you know it. You have to queue for your pitch position, borrow kit off Canon, eat, finish previous edits and shoot GV’s of the fans and stadium. Not to mention the admin involved with running an agency such as replying to emails and editing other content coming in.

England were shooting towards their fans in the first half so I decided to sit in the first position down the side in front of the fans and avoid the annoying extra official behind the goal, before moving at half-time and taking any available seats. The annoying thing about sitting there is you tend to get blocked by photographers on your inside and struggle to get any action down the wing.

In hindsight, it didn’t matter where I sat. The match was awful and my photos were not much better as England struggled to break down Slovakia and drew 0-0. Upon getting back to the media centre I was relieved to find that at least I wasn’t the only photographer struggling to get anything good from the match.

England fans with a cardboard cutout of Roy Hodgson
England fans with a cardboard cutout of Roy Hodgson
Chris Smalling and Juraj Kucka compete for the ball
Chris Smalling and Juraj Kucka compete for the ball
Dele Alli plays a pass
Dele Alli plays a pass
Daniel Sturridge misses a great chance
Daniel Sturridge misses a great chance
Viktor Pecovsky and Daniel Sturridge
Viktor Pecovsky and Daniel Sturridge
The most photographed England fan ever
The most photographed England fan ever

Ukraine v Poland

The next morning was a 3 and a half hour drive down to the south coast for Ukraine v Poland in Marseille. We were both a little flat after the England performance but a good drive down and a much warmer climate helped. I’m very jealous of the photographers who are based on the south coast for the entire tournament!

I was up in the tribune again for the match. With hindsight, I wish I’d chosen to shoot more games up there as the photos are a little different to your everyday football photos and it’s a little more relaxing in some ways as you have more space to work in and it’s a lot easier to follow the action.

Poland once again won 1-0 and the celebration ran back towards the bench. Perfect for those of us up in the tribune.

After the match, the media are allowed free bottles of Carlsberg. They’re often heavily guarded and limited to 1 per person but we managed to borrow 11 bottles from the fridge. It’s becoming a bit of a challenge!

Yevhen Khacheridi and Robert Lewandowski compete for the ball
Yevhen Khacheridi and Robert Lewandowski compete for the ball
Robert Lewandowski lobs goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov but fails to score
Robert Lewandowski lobs goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov but fails to score
Poland fans let off flares
Poland fans let off flares
Poland fans let off a smoke flare
Poland fans let off a smoke flare
Jakub Blaszczykowski celebrates after scoring
Jakub Blaszczykowski celebrates after scoring

Portugal v Hungary

Our final group game was back in Lyon for yet another Portugal match, this time against Hungary. Portugal could go through with a draw but needed to win to guarantee it.

I managed to get a position behind the goal on the manager’s side for the first time. This would be my first choice normally but due to being quite low on the priority list at times, I haven’t been able to do so.

Former Fulham player Zoltan Gera scored for Hungary quite early up my end. I got the goal and the celebration ran towards the bench in front of me. Great start and it meant that Portugal would have to attack as they were heading out.

Nani equalised for Portugal just before half-time to ensure the teams were level at the break. 4 goals in 15 minutes – including 2 from Ronaldo – at the beginning of the second half made the score 3-3. As the final whistle blew Portugal were set to finish as runner-up and play England in the next round but a late goal for Iceland against Austria meant Portugal scraped through in 3rd place and England faced Iceland instead, much to the delight of the English photographers at the time…

Overall the matches were quite poor in the group stage so it was good to finish with an exciting match for once.

Zoltan Gera celebrates after scoring his side's first goal
Zoltan Gera celebrates after scoring Hungary’s first goal
Hungary fans gesture at Cristiano Ronaldo after he misses a free kick
Hungary fans gesture at Cristiano Ronaldo after he misses a free kick
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal scores his side’s second goal to equalise and make the score 2-2 during the UEFA Euro 2016 Group F match between Hungary and Portugal at Parc Olympique Lyonnais on June 22nd 2016 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com)
Cristiano Ronaldo scores Portugal’s second goal
Cristiano Ronaldo looks frustrated after Hungary's third goal
Cristiano Ronaldo looks frustrated after Hungary’s third goal
Is he?
Is he?
A young Hungary fan
A young Hungary fan

I’d been hoping to blog every day before coming out to the Euros but we haven’t stopped since we’ve arrived so here’s the first part of the group stages. I’m out here shooting for my agency, phcimages.com, but sharing the travelling with my Dad who is shooting for Focus Images.

France v Romania

Our first game was the opener between France and Romania at the Stade de France. We headed out on a ferry the night before the match and then went to Paris early to pick up our accreditation. For the tournament, you receive an accreditation to get you into the stadiums and then a separate accreditation for each game to get pitch side or in the tribune.

Thankfully this all went smoothly and we were in the ground early to shoot fan pictures and security around the ground, which was a major story due to the Paris attacks last year.

I then chose my pitch position, borrowed a 1DX Mk II and a 200-400 f/4 from Canon (shiny!) and headed out to the pitch. Once there I discovered that I’d somehow damaged the USB lead on my one and only card reader (top tip: bring a spare of everything!). Thankfully, a very nice Canon technician lent me a spare cable for the match.

I decided to forgo the usual team line-up photos and head up into the stands to shoot the finale of the opening ceremony. I knew the French air force were flying over and the shirts of all the teams would be displayed and hoped it would be a nice photo, and something a little different from a typical manager photo or team line up which hundreds of photographers would all get.

I shot the whole ceremony from the stands and then very nearly missed the finale! I saw the planes before I heard them but thankfully I grabbed my fisheye just in time and got a few photos I’m quite pleased with.

Planes fly over during the opening ceremony
Planes fly over during the opening ceremony

For the match I decided to go France attack first half and Romania attack second half, hoping that France might score early and Romania would come back. The plan nearly worked as Romania equalised in the second half from a penalty after a France goal and the cele ran my way. However, in my rush to get a better angle for the goal, I tripped over some hidden wires and dented the front of Canon’s £8,000+ 200-400! Thankfully Canon understood and let me (and my bank balance…) off. France then went on to score a late winner at the other end thanks to the outstanding Payet.

Dimitri Payet controls the ball
Dimitri Payet controls the ball

England v Russia

After the France match, we headed down to Marseille early for England’s opener against Russia. The journey was a mere 9 hours, not helped by road closures due to the trouble developing in the port area and a couple of wrong turns.

At the grounds, there’s a priority system designed to give priority to photographers from the nations involved, then photographers from the nations in that group, then French photographers and then everyone else. Each position has a specific seat with ethernet and power points and you’re not strictly supposed to move, although you can if it’s not too busy.

I picked a good position in front of the Russian shooting England attack first half, with the intention of moving in the second half. During the first half, one Russian fan was ejected from the ground, another burnt an England flag and a few more made racist monkey noises at a steward. Charming.

A Russian fan is ejected
A Russian fan is ejected

On the pitch it was fairly uneventful. I moved to the other end, down the side of the pitch for the second half. Dier scored a great free kick but then ran to the opposite corner, straight down the lens of the 15 photographers in that corner. Frustrating. Russia then scored an equaliser in the dying moments at the other end.

Not long after the equaliser I noticed a few scuffles with stewards and Russian fans, so I focussed on that for a bit. This quickly developed into the Russian fans breaking through the handful of stewards separating the fans and storming the England end. I knew this was going to be the story and stayed on the ensuing chaos in the stands, watching helplessly as England fans were attacked and tried to get away.

Harry Kane looks dejected
Harry Kane looks dejected
Russian fans storm the England end after the match
Shocking scenes as Russian fans storm the England end after the match
Russian fans storm the England end after the match
Russian fans storm the England end after the match

Northern Ireland v Poland

Next up was a (relatively..) short trip along the south coast to Nice for Northern Ireland’s match against Poland. A completely different atmosphere greeted us with both sets of fans dancing to a band outside the ground. Great fun and it made for great photos too.

Northern Ireland fans and Poland fans party outside
Northern Ireland fans and Poland fans party outside

I’d opted for a tribune position, which was basically a few seats at the front of the stand reserved for photographers. I’d never shot a match from up there before but I wanted to try and get something different, and I hoped a 6pm kick-off would provide some nice light.

The match ended 1-0 to Poland and the cele worked out quite nice for me and I got some action photos I’m pleased with too. More tribune positions in the knockout rounds I think!

Arkadiusz Milik of Poland celebrates
Arkadiusz Milik of Poland celebrates
Arkadiusz Milik of Poland celebrates
Arkadiusz Milik of Poland celebrates
Conor Washington of Northern Ireland tries an overhead kick
Conor Washington of Northern Ireland tries an overhead kick
Poland fans
Poland fans

Belgium v Italy

Up next was a trip to Lyon for a few days, starting with Belgium v Italy. We’re generally staying at places on Airbnb when we have a couple of days in one place and we arrived at a lovely country house on the outskirts, complete with a very noisy dog.

After discovering the joys of Lyon at rush hour (a 20 minute journey turned into an hour…), we saw Italy play very well and win 2-0. I got the first goal ok, but the celebration ran away and then I was at the wrong end for the second goal – a familiar theme!

A Belgium fan
A Belgium fan
Axel Witsel of Belgium and Eder of Italy
Axel Witsel of Belgium and Eder of Italy
Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium looks dejected after his side concede their second goal
Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium looks dejected after his side concede their second goal

We eventually arrived back at our house around 2am where I had to kick the neighbours cat out!

Portugal v Iceland

The next day was Portugal v Iceland in nearby Saint-Etienne, only about 45 minutes drive from our place in Lyon. A late kick-off meant we could have our first real lay-in of the tournament and get a bit of editing done in the morning. I’m sending my main set of photos at the ground but I still have stock to edit as well as photos from 6 different agencies that supply us which can be very time consuming.

I started feeling unwell in the morning and by kick-off I had developed a full on cold, or ‘Media Centre Flu’ as it’s also known. I didn’t shoot any GV’s or fan photos and even contemplated not shooting the match. I decided I’d come too far to not shoot a match, and so I decided to sit away from the main pack of photographers (for their benefit and mine!) and I sat down the side, roughly in line with the edge of the penalty area.

Nani scored for Portugal after half an hour and looped around to celebrate right in front of me which was arguably better than any cold remedy!

Nani celebrates scoring
Nani celebrates scoring
Iceland fans
Iceland fans

Iceland deservedly equalised in the second half and held out for a draw, their first points at a tournament. The Iceland fans were fantastic and very colourful, by far the best I’d experienced to date.

England v Wales

Next up was England v Wales all the way up in Lens. We’d decided to head up there the day after the Portugal match, stay near Lille and head into the city to look for any fan trouble.

I was feeling absolutely awful and ended up as a passenger for the entire 7-hour journey. By the time we arrived I was feeling even worse and decided to stay in and relax, and watch a bit of the tournament. It’s surprising just how little of the tournament you actually get to see so it was nice to watch a bit of football at least.

The next morning we headed into Lens early for the match. Still not feeling great, I forced myself out to shoot some GV’s of the ground which paid off with one published on the Sun’s website.

I decided to sit in front of the Wales fans to shoot England attack first half and Wales second half. This meant I was at the wrong end for all 3 goals and celebrations, including Sturridge’s last minute winner. So far, everything has ran away from me in the England games, very frustrating!

England fans dressed as David Seaman pose outside before the match
England fans dressed as David Seaman pose outside before the match
Gareth Bale scores a free kick
Gareth Bale scores a free kick
Gary Cahill of England celebrates at full time
Gary Cahill of England celebrates at full time
A Wales fan looks dejected
A Wales fan looks dejected
David Edwards of Wales looks dejected at full time
David Edwards of Wales looks dejected at full time
Dele Alli of England and David Edwards of Wales
Dele Alli of England and David Edwards of Wales

Part 2 coming soon…

Most of the games I shoot are in the Championship or lower but over the past couple of months I’ve had the chance to shoot PSG v Chelsea, Man City v Barcelona and the Capital One Cup final – a refreshing change from Bolton, Rochdale and Oldham!


First up was a trip across to Paris for the 1st leg of Chelsea’s last 16 Champions League match against PSG. I opted to drive to France and after a horror 10 hour journey – including a 2 and a half hour delay at Eurotunnel – I arrived at the ground with just 30 minutes to spare –  stressed is an understatement!

Despite my late arrival I managed to get the first position along the side of the pitch, in front of the Chelsea fans. I was at the wrong end for both goals, but managed to come away with a few decent photos.

PHC_PSG_CHELSEA_20150217_013-2
Ivanovic celebrates scoring his goal
PHC_PSG_CHELSEA_20150217_019-2
Verratti tackles Hazard
PHC_PSG_CHELSEA_20150217_017
Chelsea players look dejected after conceding an equaliser
PHC_PSG_CHELSEA_20150217_027
Matić and Azpilicueta tackle Verratti
PHC_PSG_CHELSEA_20150217_023-2
Chelsea fans let off a flare
PHC_PSG_CHELSEA_20150217_015-2
Courtois tips a shot over the bar

Upon arriving home in the UK at 7am I found out I’d got the back page of the Daily Mail; a long trip made worthwhile.

See the full gallery on phcimages.com.


After a quick commission at Bury v Hartlepool (see, it’s not normally this glamorous), I took a much less stressful 20 minute trip to the Etihad for the arrival of Messi and co. as Barcelona took on Manchester City.

I opted for a spot to the left behind the goal Barcelona would be attacking first half. I sat as close to the goal as possible to avoid the pointless extra official blocking my view of the goal and thankfully Suarez scored both of Barcelona’s goals early on up my end.

Hard luck for the photographers who had been queuing since 2pm(!) to get in front of the Barcelona fans only to be at the wrong end for all the goals and then see Messi miss a last minute penalty at that end.

Aguero celebrates after pulling one back
Aguero celebrates after pulling one back
Milner and Messi
Milner and Messi
Joe Hart watches on as Suarez scores the opener
Joe Hart watches on as Suarez scores his second
Suarez celebrates after putting Barca 1-0 up
Suarez celebrates after putting Barca 1-0 up

See the full gallery and training on phcimages.com.


The first day of March saw me take a trip down the M1 to Wembley for the Capital One Cup final between Spurs and Chelsea. As a West Ham fan, my contempt for both clubs is pretty equal, I just wanted to see a decent game, preferably with some goals up my end.

Opting again for the first spot along the side, I watched as Spurs repeatedly threatened the Chelsea goal to no avail, before Terry headed Chelsea in front late in the first half.

PHC_CHELSEA_TOTTENHAM_20150301_015
Fabregas attempts an overhead kick
PHC_CHELSEA_TOTTENHAM_20150301_006
Willian curls a free kick over the Spurs wall
PHC_CHELSEA_TOTTENHAM_20150301_004
Spurs players look dejected after conceding their first goal

I had very little worth sending at half time but thankfully, 10 minutes into the half, Diego Costa – with a little help from Kyle Walker’s left leg – put Chelsea 2-0 up.

I got a nice sequence of the shot and then Costa then ran into my corner to celebrate. Finally, I had something worth sending.

PHC_CHELSEA_TOTTENHAM_20150301_016PHC_CHELSEA_TOTTENHAM_20150301_017

The goal effectively ended the match and Chelsea went on to lift the cup.

John Terry celebrates with the trophy
John Terry celebrates with the trophy
Mourinho lifts his first trophy since returning to Chelsea
Mourinho lifts his first trophy since returning to Chelsea
Harry Kane looks dejected at full time
Harry Kane looks dejected at full time
Chelsea celebrate their win
Chelsea celebrate their win

The Sun kindly ran the Costa goal across two pages the next day. Sitting away from everyone else had paid off.

See the full gallery on phcimages.com.


Next was a trip over to sunny Barcelona for the home leg of their Champions League tie against Manchester City.

I opted to fly out a little bit early to shoot the Barcelona press conference and training, as well as spend some time exploring Barcelona as I’d never visited before.

On the day before the match, I negotiated a bus journey using my pigeon Spanish and went off to shoot the Barcelona training session.

As so often happens, the players spent most of the 15 minutes training on the other side of the pitch, and not doing anything interesting, until, after a game of ‘piggy in the middle’, Neymar playfully kicked Suarez in the back providing the only decent photo from a very dull session.

Iniesta talks to the press
Iniesta talks to the press
FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique laughs as he sits down for the press conference
FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique laughs as he sits down for the press conference
Barcelona players train
Barcelona players train
Neymar gives Suarez a kick
Neymar gives Suarez a kick

The next day was the actual match. With a 2-1 lead from the first leg, an early Barcelona goal would kill the tie so I opted to shoot Barcelona attack first half and then see how the match was going at half time.

As it turned out, an early goal from Rakitić did kill the game, and if it wasn’t for Hart’s heroics in the City goal, it would have been a cricket score.

The incredible Camp Nou (shot with manual focus fisheye)
The incredible Camp Nou (shot with manual focus fisheye)
Messi and Toure compete for the ball
Messi and Toure compete for the ball
Rakitić lobs Hart to score the only goal of the game
Rakitić lobs Hart to score the only goal of the game
Rakitić lobs Hart to score the only goal of the game
Rakitić lobs Hart to score the only goal of the game
The man himself
The man himself
Suarez lobs Hart but cannot convert
Suarez lobs Hart but cannot convert
Hart keeps Messi out
Hart keeps Messi out

See the full gallery and training on phcimages.com.

This post is a little late due to a short holiday, but the Sunday before last saw me heading over to the Etihad Stadium to photograph Man City v Chelsea – a huge match which was being billed as a potential title decider, despite it being September.

The first half was largely uneventful except for a penalty shout for City, but I had some nice action down my side, particularly from James Milner who played fantastically.

Costa appears to foul Edin Džeko in the box
Costa appears to foul Edin Džeko in the box but nothing is given
James Milner and César Azpilicueta compete for the ball
James Milner and César Azpilicueta compete for the ball
Sergio Agüero rues a missed chance
Sergio Agüero rues a missed chance
José Mourinho
José Mourinho, a man of a million expressions
Milner and Azpilicueta in action again
Milner and Azpilicueta in action again

At half time I moved to the other end to get on the stadium Wi-Fi and to continue shooting Man City attack, knowing that if Chelsea were to score they’d celebrate in front of their fans anyway, and not the corner I had been sitting in.

The match finally came to life midway through the second half as Zabeleta was sent off for an incident with Diego Costa on the other side of the pitch. Too far away for me to get anything much of the incident, but I got a few decent shots of him coming off and getting comforted by Mourinho.

Zabaleta reacts after being sent off
Zabaleta reacts after being sent off

With a man advantage, Chelsea went on the attack and Schürrle put them 1-0 up and duly celebrated right in front of the Chelsea fans, and the photographers in that pit.

Schürrle celebrates in front of the travelling fans
Schürrle celebrates in front of the travelling fans and the photographers at that end who got some great photos

With City down to 10 men it seemed as if Chelsea would see out the win, and all the newsworthy photos would be from the other end.

Frank Lampard was soon introduced to try and find an equaliser for Man City. It was one of his first appearances in a City shirt so I focused on getting some stock for a while, but couldn’t have hoped he’d go on to score.

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A selection of Lampard stock
Manchester City v Chelsea Barclays Premier League
Hazard shields the ball from Lampard

With about 5 minutes to go, a great run and cross by Milner – who was fantastic throughout – saw Lampard equalise against his former club. A club he made over 400 appearances for. Perfect. From that point on, the headlines would only be about one man.

Lampard refuses to celebrate after scoring
Lampard refuses to celebrate after scoring
But his teammates have other ideas...
But his teammates have other ideas…
Lampard looks unsure how to react after scoring against Chelsea
Lampard looks unsure how to react after scoring against Chelsea

I couldn’t get a clear shot of the goal and Lampard refused to celebrate – understandable, but frustrating – but I knew I had the photos of what would become the main talking point.

Moving ‘oop north

Last month saw me moving up from sunny Essex to Manchester. This has meant I’ve experienced the, erm, delights, of grounds such as Oldham, Sheffield Wednesday and Bolton. Below are a few highlights from my time up here so far.

Oldham's Jonathan Forte scores his winning goal against Fleetwood
Oldham’s Jonathan Forte scores the winning goal from the spot against Fleetwood
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An Oldham punk
Fleetwood's Matty Blair jumps a challenge
Fleetwood’s Matty Blair jumps a challenge
Kieren Westwood of Sheffield Wednesday saves a free kick against Reading
Kieren Westwood of Sheffield Wednesday saves a free kick against Reading
Mikkel Andersen celebrates after Reading are awarded a penalty
Mikkel Andersen celebrates after Reading are awarded a penalty
A rare bit of egg-chasing as Salford Red Devils take on London Broncos. Here Greg Johnson scores a try.
A rare bit of egg-chasing as Salford Red Devils take on London Broncos. Here Greg Johnson scores a try.
Josh Drinkwater of London Broncos is tackled
Josh Drinkwater of London Broncos is tackled by three Salford players

A commission from Southend United saw me heading back down to Essex for one weekend to cover their match against Portsmouth.

Barry Corr heads Southend in front
Barry Corr heads Southend in front
Phil Brown catches a loose ball
Phil Brown catches a loose ball
Shaquile Coulthirst celebrates after sealing the win late on
Shaquile Coulthirst celebrates after sealing the win late on

Music

There’s a lot of music venues up here – especially compared to Essex – so I’m going to be shooting a lot more music in the coming weeks and months. Here’s a couple from Foxes supporting Pharrell at Manchester Arena earlier this month.

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It’s been a while since I last blogged, mostly due to a lack of anything to talk about. Unfortunately I wasn’t lucky enough to head out to Brazil over the summer but fellow Focus Images photographer Andy Tobin was and his blog of the World Cup is worth a read if you haven’t already.

The new football season started last Tuesday for me as I headed down to Cardiff for the UEFA Super Cup Final (how can a competition have a ‘final’ when it’s only one match?!) between Real Madrid and Sevilla. Continue reading ›

Last night saw me sitting through the turgid affair that was England v Denmark. Wembley’s a fantastic place to work at for photographers, with ridiculously fast ethernet and power around the pitch, and the brightest floodlights in the country. It’s always great to shoot a big international match too, even if the football was terrible. Continue reading ›

At the risk of this turning into a weather blog, it’s been reported that January was one of the wettest on record, which won’t come as a shock to many sport photographers. I’ve shot 8 games since my last blog post and I’ve been drenched at most of them! The football’s not been great either. Continue reading ›

The past week saw a change from my usual schedule of Premier League and Football League matches as I shot some FA Cup, Capital One Cup and non-league action.

Last Saturday I attended Southend v Millwall in the FA Cup 3rd round. Since being a kid the 3rd round has held a special place in the football calendar for me and I was looking forward to this game as it had all the hallmarks of a possible cup upset. Continue reading ›

It’s a new year, and I thought it’s about time I create a website to showcase my photos. Until now I’ve used Flickr, Twitter and my agency site which worked okay but none do a great job of showing off a portfolio. I also intend to starting blogging a bit about events I’ve attended etc. Continue reading ›