Peter Jay, one of the outstanding sports photographers of his generation, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 68.
Monte Fresco, his long-time friend, colleague and – when working at the Mirror – rival, said, “It is a tremendous loss. Peter was a sweet, kind man who was a great photographer with a great eye for a picture.
“He’d suffered with cancer and leukaemia for a very long time, and it had been very hard and painful for him. He was respected by all of us photographers and, what’s more, he was respected by the people who he photographed.”
Born in Kenya, Jay came to London in the 1960s, where he initially worked at a sports picture agency with Stewart Fraser before joining The Sun at its launch as a Murdoch-owned tabloid. Jay’s first major assignment was to cover England at the 1970 Mexico World Cup.
He continued to work at all the major sports events for the next 30 years, and regularly featured at the British Sports Photography Awards. More recently, he moved to work for The Independent.
â€œPeter was one of the best sports photographers I had the pleasure to work with,” Stuart Robinson, the vice-chairman of the SJA, said.
“He was technically brilliant. He never missed a picture. He was also one of the nicest men you will ever meet, inside or outside the job. A perfect gentleman, he will be sadly missed.â€
Peter was divorced from his wife, Jenny, and leaves two children, Tom and Nina.