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Eamonn McCabe

Award winning photographer Eamonn McCabe has been capturing historic moments in sport, news and music for more than 40 years.

The former Guardian picture editor has been Sports Photographer of the Year four times, Picture Editor of the Year six times, as well as News Photographer of the Year.

Renowned for his sports pictures from the late 70s and 80s, it was music that initially got him interested in taking photos, capturing bands such as The Rolling Stones, Bad Company and The Who in the late 60s.

“I wanted to be with the rock and roll bands that were my heroes, but I was no good at playing so I took pictures of them instead,” Eamonn said, “I got off on the energy of rock and roll and that got me into photography.”

Eamonn’s first job was at Imperial College, London, as resident photographer, before he got into local newspapers, taking sports photos for the Tottenham Herald, Barnett Express and South Gate Express, among others.

He said: “It was a much slower operation back then; after taking the pictures you had to run back and develop them and then bring them into the office, in person. You had to be quite durable.”

Eamonn’s big break was joining The Observer, where he stayed for nine years, before joining The Guardian as picture editor in 1988. He left in 2001 to return to full-time freelance photography.

He said: “Two of the highlights for me were taking photos at the Moscow Olympics and the Los Angeles Olympics in 1980 and ’84.”

Published in over in five books, Eamonn’s work has inspired many others to pick up a camera and he occasionally lectures at colleges and universities around the country, including Staffordshire University.

The award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Eamonn for his contribution and support of the Faculty of Arts, Media and Design, and for being a role model for photography students at Staffordshire University, as well as his sports photography and portraiture.

Photo of Eamonn McCabe

Eamonn McCabe was bestowed the award in 2010

I’m very honoured and surprised. I do think I paid my dues and never got my paper work for it, so this feels like it’s a great reward for years of hard work.

Eamonn McCabe