Top of the Pops photographer Harry Goodwin died last night aged 89, his agent has confirmed.


Picture credit: Harry Goodwin

Goodwin, whose work was on display at The Lowry in Manchester until a few days ago, died after a short illness.

Goodwin’s passion for photography took hold after serving in the RAF during World War Two, making it a full-time job during the 1950s.

His subjects included the many legendary musicians who passed through the doors of the Top of the Pops studios in Manchester from 1964.

He went on to work on the beauty pageant and boxing circuits.

The list of famous subjects included John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield and The Beach Boys.

Goodwin’s exhibition at The Lowry, which was only taken down last week, was drawn from the BBC’s archives.

The Lowry’s head of Visual Arts and Engagement Michael Simpson said he was saddened to learn of the photographer’s death.

He added: ‘Harry Goodwin was a remarkable photographer who captured some of music’s greatest legends in his portraits.

‘The Lowry was very proud to host his exhibition My Generation: The Glory Years of British Rock Photographs from Top of the Pops 1964-1973.’

The photographer had suffered ill health only in the past few weeks and had been seen around Blackpool until very recently, his Manchester-based publicists, Handshake Ltd, told Amateur Photographer.

Over his hospital bed hung a portrait of Muhammad Ali, pictured with Goodwin who had himself been a boxer, said Stuart Littlewood, the company’s managing director.

Paying tribute, Littlewood, who had known the photographer for more than 40 years, described him as a ‘cheeky chappie, with great charisma, and a Charlie charmer’.

After falling ill five or six weeks ago, the photographer had received calls in hospital from high-profile figures including Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Paul McCartney (pictured, top).

‘He was a humble man. Not a prima donna,’ said Littlewood who explained how he had once refused an offer of a car to take him to the opening of an exhibition of his images at the V&A in London.

Goodwin told his agent: ‘I’ll go by train. You can get a cup of tea on a train.’

Littlewood said he will remember him mostly for an image of Jimi Hendrix ‘playing a guitar with his teeth’, which required impeccable timing to get the shot.

‘Half a second earlier or later and you would not have recognised who it was.’

Speaking about his exhibition at The Lowry, Goodwin said earlier this year: ‘It’s nice to be recognised in my own region. I was born just a few miles from The Lowry and I do hope people like the images I shot.

‘The stories behind the photographs are so precious to me. The right place at the right time.’

The Lowry said that the show was enjoyed by visitors of all ages.