FPA Member Profile

George Herringshaw – Sporting Heroes
All Images © George Herringshaw



  • FIFA World Cups (6)
  • UEFA European Championships (8)
  • IOC Olympic Games (10)
  • European Cup/CL Finals (28)
Q&A with George Herringshaw

What came first, sport or photography?
“Sport. Cricket for the school, then athletics as a young adult. I then combined them both when an achilles tendon injury forced me to retire (County 200m sprint champion) and I began photographing athletics. Then rugby, and once I understood where the money was: FOOTBALL!.”

Who did you look up to when you were young, and who has helped you most with your development?
“Ed Lacey, a freelance who worked as a pro 1955-1976. Otherwise self taught.”

One change for the better to improve football photography for the next generation of photographers?
“Listen to us when we explain to the ‘authorities’ why we prefer to work from particular positions. The international federations mainly do, football clubs, not so much.”

Favourite football ground to work at and why?
“Arsenal and Man City. It’s called backgrounds. I once worked in Eastern Europe at a National Stadium with a running track, no stairwells, no yellow stewards, gentle afternoon light, packed with multi-coloured fans on open banked terraces and no adverts. Even now I dream about that place. Problem: I cannot remember where it was! Bulldozed no doubt…”

Do you have a favourite memory or anecdote from your time as a football photographer?
“After fifty years behind the goal I have no particular favourite single memory. I have enjoyed dozens of amusing moments, many at my expense.”

Favourite footballer to work with and why?
“Do not laugh, but I have never worked one to one with any footballer.”

Canon, Nikon or Sony?
“Currently Nikon. But I have used Canon for decades and even Olympus; 350mm f2.8 and 180mm f2.0 – adapter for use on Canon bodies in the late 1980s. I once had a Nikon 300mm F2.0,when I was big into weight training.”

First match photographed?
“September 1971 – Leicester v Sheffield United.”

If you weren’t a photographer what would you be?
“A playwright and a self-deluded old man. Forget the playwright…”

Some advice for youngsters?
“Don’t ask, just do it (on location). Look at what is being used in publications you admire for clues as to how to succeed. Finally, some photos tell the story (news), some photos are the story (features). Combine those two in one image and you are winning the battle.”

Biggest lesson learnt?
“Try it, and then learn from your mistakes if it fails. That could apply to life?”

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