British Sports Journalism photography awards with Canon: the winners

If the pre-awards talk on Twitter was anything to go by, SJA 2018 Sports Photographer Mark Thompson was the unanimous choice of his peers to lift the Ed Lacey Trophy.

In the end it was a hat-trick of accolades for Getty’s Thompson, who took the specialist portfolio (Phil Sheldon award) and sports picture of the year prizes too at the British Sports Journalism Awards sponsored by Canon and European Professional Club Rugby.

Thompson looked suitably shell-shocked as the prizes came raining down. Apparently he doesn’t do twice in one night – on Monday at the Westminster Bridge Park Plaza he went one better.

This is the image which swung it.

SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 26: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) McLaren F1 Team MCL33 Renault crashes with Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team C37 Ferrari at the start during the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 26, 2018 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Chairman of photography judges David Ofield said: “Mark captured a unique moment – a split second window on a global event.  In these fast and furious days of international Formula One racing – this image was exceptional.”

Here’s one from the specialist portfolio.

During the Formula One Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 15, 2018 in Shanghai, China.

Freelance Eddie Keogh always seems to be in contention for the SJA awards and he did it again in the ‘away from the action’ category. Keogh captured the England football squad charging towards him during training – we can only assume he avoided what looks an inevitable collision.

The judges said: “The winning photograph showed something different for the judges. It was a beautiful picture for the moment, where the composition was good, the subjects engaged and you can see a real connection.”

Eddie Keogh (freelance)

Julian Finney of Getty Images was the recipient of both the football portfolio and the Canon sports portfolio awards. Hands up how many people shudder and look away at the sight of Jan Vertonghen of Spurs sticking his finger into Roberto Firmino’s eye?

Finney showed his versatility, producing excellent work from tennis, gymnastics, women’s rugby and boxing as well.

He received his award from Canon’s Jakki Moores, who admitted: “There was more debate in this category than any other – it was a close decision – but Julian’s use of imagination, good light and a variety of subjects in a beautiful portfolio won the vote.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur pokes Roberto Firmino of Liverpool in the eye as they battle for the ball during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium on September 15, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 08: Naomi Osaka of Japan poses with the championship trophy after winning the Women’s Singles finals match against Serena Williams of the United States on Day Thirteen of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

And finally, the snappers snapped: Thompson, then Keogh and finally Finney, presented by The Guardian’s Tom Jenkins.


More than 600 guests were at the Westminster Bridge Park Plaza to see the creme-de-la-creme of writers, photographers and broadcasters receive journalism’s ‘Oscars’. 

Thanks to Canon, we were able to showcase the winning photos at the awards presentation.


SJA Sports Photographer of the Year 2018 (The Ed Lacey Trophy) sponsored by Canon
Mark Thompson – Getty Images

Away from the Action
Winner: Eddie Keogh – Freelance
Highly commended: Edward Whitaker – Racing Post
Highly commended: Marc Aspland – The Times

Sport Picture
Winner: Mark Thompson – Getty Images
Highly commended: Richard Pelham – The Sun
Highly commended: Anna Gowthorpe – Freelance 

Canon Sports Portfolio
Winner: Julian Finney – Getty Images
Highly commended: Alex Livesey – Getty Images
Highly commended: Clive Mason – Getty Images

Specialist Sports Portfolio
Winner: Mark Thompson – Getty Images
Highly commended: Alex Whitehead – SWpix
Highly commended: Edward Whitaker – Racing Post

Football Portfolio
Winner: Julian Finney – Getty Images
Highly commended: Eddie Keogh – Freelance
Highly commended: Michael Regan – Getty Images