Heavyweights and new talent on Photography shortlists at SJA British Sports Journalism Awards

Five former Ed Lacey Trophy winners named in portfolio categories as contenders in Canon-sponsored section revealed; 10 again in running for Picture Award; Football Portfolio and News Picture categories also guaranteed new winners; awards night on March 25 – book tickets now!

By Jon Holmes

A collage of the 10 images shortlisted in the Picture category for the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards

At least three of the six Photography categories at this year’s SJA British Sports Journalism Awards will have first-time winners.

The shortlists for the Canon-sponsored section are announced today, and among the fresh slates is the coveted Picture category, for which the judges have again selected 10 sensational sports images from the last 12 months.

New names are also assured on the first-place trophies for News Picture and Football Portfolio.

Meanwhile, the Canon Portfolio and Specialist Portfolio line-ups feature five former winners of the Ed Lacey Trophy for Photographer of the Year.

Adrian Dennis, Clive Mason and Edward Whitaker have each picked up the night’s biggest prize on two previous occasions, while Clive Brunskill and David Davies’ triumphs were separated by 25 years.

In addition, 2016 Ed Lacey Trophy winner Alex Livesey is on the Picture shortlist.

Here are the 10 images in contention for Picture of the Year…

Ahead of the awards gala in London on March 25, AFP’s Paul Ellis – chair of the photography judges, and a former chair of the BPPA – said: “2023 was another incredible year for sports photography, and the judges had a huge task to get each category down to the number of shortlisted entries.

“We saw photography from a huge variety of sports and not just set-piece events. There were well-worked pictures that demonstrate the ability and skills of individual photographers.”

Naomi Baker, who won the inaugural Young Photographer honour at the 2018 Awards, is among those shortlisted for Canon Portfolio.

Following Catherine Ivill’s historic success in the Football Portfolio category last year, Reuters’ Hannah McKay has a shot at it this time around.

Meanwhile, Manchester City club snapper Lexy Ilsley’s iconic image of Jack Grealish is up for News Picture alongside a trio of Just Stop Oil protest photos (captured by Mike Egerton, Julian Finney and Kieran McManus), Jonny Bairstow’s controversial dismissal in the Lord’s Ashes Test (Gareth Copley) and Joe LaCava’s cap-raising confrontation with Rory McIlroy at the Ryder Cup.

Zac Goodwin took that photo of Patrick Cantlay’s caddie, and having won Young Photographer bronze and silver at the 2021 and 2022 Awards respectively, he will be among those going for gold in that category in the 2023 edition.

Alex Davidson, Morgan Harlow, Cameron Smith and George Wood also make their returns to the final six, with Bradley Collyer a new name in the mix.

Ellis said: “The Young Photographer category was as ever hugely encouraging, demonstrating the incredible emerging talent in this country and everyone who has been shortlisted was in with a chance of winning.”

With each portfolio submission comprising 10 images, the accumulated total of photos on the shortlists is well over 200. All will be on display in a special gallery showcase on awards night in London.

“I must add that the Picture of the Year category stood out for me and shortlisting to 10 was difficult,” added Ellis.

“The winner however was well worthy and the jury agreed that it was such a striking image.”

Click here to see all the images from the shortlisted Photography entries

The winners of the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, sponsored by the National Lottery, will be announced at a gala ceremony taking place at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge on the evening of Monday, 25 March 2024.

Tickets and tables are available to purchase now via the awards website.

Shaun Botterill won the Ed Lacey Trophy last year


The Ed Lacey Trophy is awarded to the photographer who, in the opinion of the judges, has been the overall best sports photographer of 2023 and has demonstrated an outstanding range of photographic skills.

This will be judged on submitted entries into the categories listed below. All other awards are subject to entered submissions which are then put before our panel of judges.



Adrian Dennis – AFP
Clive Mason – Getty Images
Justin Setterfield – Getty Images
Lee Smith – Reuters
Naomi Baker – Getty Images
Ryan Pierse – Getty Images


Adrian Dennis – AFP
Alex Pantling – Getty Images
Hannah McKay – Reuters
Justin Setterfield – Getty Images
Simon Stacpoole – Offside
Theo McInnes – Freelance


Clive Brunskill – Getty Images
Clive Mason – Getty Images
David Davies – PA Media
Edward Whitaker – Racing Post
Philip Brown – Popperfoto
Ryan Pierse – Getty Images


Gareth Copley – Getty Images
Julian Finney – Getty Images
Kieran McManus – Shutterstock
Lexy Ilsley – Manchester City Football Club
Mike Egerton – PA Media
Zac Goodwin – PA Media


Adrian Dennis – AFP
Alex Livesey – Getty Images
Andy Hooper – Daily Mail
Cameron Smith – Getty Images
Clive Mason – Getty Images
David Davies – PA Media
George Wood – Getty Images
Mark Robinson – Freelance
Ryan Pierse – Getty Images
Tim Goode – Freelance


Alex Davidson – Getty Images
Bradley Collyer – PA Media
Cameron Smith – Getty Images
George Wood – Getty Images
Morgan Harlow – Freelance
Zac Goodwin – PA Media

The winner of the Young Photographer of the Year Award will be announced on the SJA website on March 11. All those shortlisted for the Young Photographer award will be contacted shortly and invited to attend the awards as a guest of the SJA.

Take a look at some of the highlights from last year’s SJA British Sports Journalism Awards ceremony

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