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Best British sports photography of 2021: SJA Awards

March 9, 2022

The best of British sports photography was recognised at the Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA) Awards on 7 March 2022 with David Davies (PA Media) named Sports Photographer of the Year.

As well as clinching the prestigious Sports Photographer of the Year title, Davies also won the Specialist Portfolio prize, for his images of horse racing. His submissions were praised as ‘stand out’ by all the judges.

The judges said, ‘In a year of major restrictions due to the pandemic this category excelled and produced a brilliant selection of portfolios none more so than our winner, “Wavey Davey” as he is known to most of us. His racing photos showed immense range, and his love of the sport.’

Jockeys make their way out for the Proper Good Dairy Maiden Hurdle at Ludlow Racecourse, Wednesday 24 February 2021. © David Davies/SJA British Sports Journalism Awards

Jockeys make their way out for the Proper Good Dairy Maiden Hurdle at Ludlow Racecourse, Wednesday 24 February 2021. © David Davies (PA Media)/SJA British Sports Journalism Awards

Other winners

Ramsey Cardy (Sportsfile) was hailed for a ‘remarkable set of images showing joy, daring, technical skill’ as he won the Canon Sports Portfolio prize. Cardy also scooped Sports Picture of the Year.

Carl Recine (Reuters/Action Images) won his third-ever SJA award, with his ‘eclectic eye for the game’ highlighted as he won the Football Portfolio prize.

Covering the Tokyo 2020 Olympics presented major logistical challenges for media, but Molly Darlington (Reuters/Action Images) – winner of Young Sports Photographer of the Year – was also recognised for her Olympic and Paralympic Portfolio.

Freelance photographer Jeff Gilbert’s photo of Scotland football fans enjoying celebrating in Leicester Square, London, was recognised as the Best Sports News picture.

See below for the work of the winners and a list of all the finalists:


SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR (Ed Lacey Trophy)
Winner: David Davies (PA Media)

Horses on the gallops at Sam Drinkwater's Granary Stables in Upper Strensham, Sunday 24 January 2021. © David Davies (PA Media)/SJA British Sports Journalism Awards

Horses on the gallops at Sam Drinkwater’s Granary Stables in Upper Strensham, Sunday 24 January 2021. © David Davies (PA Media)/SJA British Sports Journalism Awards


CANON SPORTS PORTFOLIO
Winner: Ramsey Cardy (Sportsfile)

1 November 2021: A general view of runners and riders during the Tote+ Pays You More At Tote.ie Claiming Race at the Laytown Strand Races in Laytown, Co Meath, Ireland. © Ramsey Cardy (Sportsfile)/SJA Sports Journalism Awards

1 November 2021: A general view of runners and riders during the Tote+ Pays You More At Tote.ie Claiming Race at the Laytown Strand Races in Laytown, Co Meath, Ireland. © Ramsey Cardy (Sportsfile)/SJA Sports Journalism Awards

Silver: Carl Recine (Reuters/Action Images)

Bronze: Justin Setterfield (Getty Images)

Also nominated: Alex Davidson (Getty Images), Dave Shopland (Shutterstock), Lee Smith (Reuters/Action Images).


FOOTBALL PORTFOLIO
Winner: Carl Recine (Reuters/Action Images)

Euro 2020 Final, - Italy v England, Wembley Stadium, London, 11 July 2021. Italy's Alessandro Florenzi with a section of the net as he celebrates after winning Euro 2020. © Carl Recine/pool via Reuters/SJA Sports Journalists Awards

Euro 2020 Final, – Italy v England, Wembley Stadium, London, 11 July 2021. Italy’s Alessandro Florenzi with a section of the net as he celebrates after winning Euro 2020. © Carl Recine/pool via Reuters/SJA Sports Journalists Awards

Silver: Eddie Keogh (Getty Images)

Bronze: Laurence Griffiths (Getty Images)

Also nominated: Alex Livesey (Getty Images), Chloe Knott (Danehouse Photography), Marc Aspland (The Times & Sunday Times).


OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC PORTFOLIO
Winner: Molly Darlington (Reuters/Action Images)

One of the images from Molly Darlington that helped her to win Young Sports Photographer of the Year 2021. © Molly Darlington (Reuters/Action Images)/SJA Sports Journalism Awards

One of the images from Molly Darlington that helped her to win Young Sports Photographer of the Year 2021. © Molly Darlington (Reuters/Action Images)/SJA Sports Journalism Awards

Silver: Richard Heathcote (Getty Images)

Bronze: Carl Recine (Reuters/Action Images)

Also nominated: Alex Pantling (Getty Images), Oli Scarff (freelance), Ramsey Cardy (Sportsfile).


YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Molly Darlington (Reuters/Action Images)

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Fencing, Men's Team Foil, Bronze medal match, Makuhari Messe Hall B, Chiba, Japan, 1 August 2021. Takahiro Shikine of Japan in action against Gerek Meinhardt of the United States. © Molly Darlington (Reuters/Action Images)/SJA Sports Journalism Awards

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Fencing, Men’s Team Foil, Bronze medal match, Makuhari Messe Hall B, Chiba, Japan, 1 August 2021. Takahiro Shikine of Japan in action against Gerek Meinhardt of the United States. © Molly Darlington (Reuters/Action Images)/SJA Sports Journalism Awards

Silver: Alex Davidson (Getty Images)

Bronze: Zac Goodwin (PA Media)

Also nominated: Joseph Portlock (Getty Images), Morgan Harlow (freelance), Oisin Keniry (Getty Images).


SPECIALIST SPORTS PORTFOLIO
Winner: David Davies (PA Media)

Sean Levey during day four of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse, Friday 18 June 2021. © David Davies/PA Wire/SJA British Sports Journalism Awards

Sean Levey during day four of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse, Friday 18 June 2021. © David Davies/PA Wire/SJA British Sports Journalism Awards

Silver: Mark Robinson (freelance)

Bronze: Clive Mason (Getty Images) & Morgan Harlow (freelance)

Also nominated: Cameron Smith (freelance), Julian Finney (Getty Images), Mark Robinson (freelance).


SPORTS NEWS PICTURE
Winner: Jeff Gilbert (freelance)

A drunken Scottish football fan stands holding a scarf in the muddy surroundings of the William Shakespeare Statue in the West End of London ahead of the EURO2020 football match between national rivals England and Scotland, 18 June 2021. © Jeff Gilbert/SJA Sports Journalism Awards

A drunken Scottish football fan stands holding a scarf in the muddy surroundings of the William Shakespeare Statue in the West End of London ahead of the EURO2020 football match between national rivals England and Scotland, 18 June 2021. © Jeff Gilbert/SJA Sports Journalism Awards

Silver: Ella Ling (Shutterstock)

Bronze: Kevin Quigley (Daily Mail) and Carl Recine (Reuters/Action Images)

Also nominated: Lee Smith (Reuters/Action Images), Mike Egerton (PA Media), Oli Scarff (freelance)


SPORTS PICTURE
Winner: Ramsey Cardy (Sportsfile)

12 September 2021: Sergio Guzman of Mexico during round four of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series at Downpatrick Head in Mayo, Ireland. © Ramsey Cardy (Sportsfile)/SJA Sports Journalism Awards

12 September 2021: Sergio Guzman of Mexico during round four of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series at Downpatrick Head in Mayo, Ireland. © Ramsey Cardy (Sportsfile)/SJA Sports Journalism Awards

Silver: Daniel Mullan (Getty Images)

Bronze: Andrew Couldridge (Reuters/Action Images)

Also nominated: Andrew Boyers (Reuters/Action Images), Clive Brunskill (Getty Images), Julian Finney (Getty Images).


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