Richard Martin

On Tuesday July 7th, 2020 we were sad to learn of the passing of Richard Martin.

Born in Hammersmith, London, Richard was particularly proud of his dual French-British nationality. He lived in France, and worked for the Vandystadt and Sipa agencies, before joining the French daily sport newspaper L’Equipe as a staff photographer in 1999.

He was known for covering Grand Slam tennis, Olympic Games and FIFA World Cups, though his favourite event was always swimming.

Known for his charming personality, Richard Martin spoke about his work in 2012, the year in which he received the Nikon Prize.

Cancer caught him on his return from the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The back pain he felt was no longer just due to the weight of the camera bags he carried with increasing difficulty. The doctors had diagnosed lung cancer, but he still found the strength to smile, telling those who came to see him in hospital ‘It’s cool, now I save at least 250 euros in cigarettes per month!”

News of his passing saddened the sports photography world, with photographers in England and France keen to remember their friend, promising once the Covid-19 pandemic measures were over a fitting tribute and celebration to his life and work was required.

On the day of his funeral, L’Equipe celebrated his work and featured an image of him on the front page, declaring he was the author of some of the most beautiful photos in French sport.

Au revoir mon cher ami.

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