Offside’s best pictures of 2014

All images via welloffside.com and welloffside.photoshelter.com.

Simon Stacpoole - Diego Costa of Chelsea puts his hand across the face of Martin Skrtel of Liverpool.
Simon Stacpoole – Diego Costa of Chelsea puts his hand across the face of Martin Skrtel of Liverpool.

It’s been another great year for sport and for Offside Sports Photography. Below are our best 24 shots of 2014, as chosen by Mark Leech.

Marc Atkins - Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal shows his skill, looking one way and playing a long pass in the other direction.
Marc Atkins – Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal shows his skill, looking one way and playing a long pass in the other direction.

Over the course of 2014 we saw the World Cup in Brazil, Glasgow host the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the inaugural staging of the Invictus Games, Wimbledon, the Ashes and much, much more. Continue reading “Offside’s best pictures of 2014”

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Offside’s Christmas countdown: Sport in the snow

Sport in the snow, via welloffside.comand welloffside.photoshelter.com.

Mark Leech - Pontypool players dive on the ball in the snow at Bramley Road against Saracens.
Mark Leech – Pontypool players dive on the ball in the snow at Bramley Road against Saracens.

Besides competition and glory, sport is all about drama, and the weather conditions can play as big a part as any other element in ramping up the intrigue out on any pitch, track or venue.

L'Equipe - Fabian Cancellara battles through the snow and freezing temperatures during the first part of the race.
L’Equipe – Fabian Cancellara battles through the snow and freezing temperatures during the first part of the race.

Continue reading “Offside’s Christmas countdown: Sport in the snow”

Offside at the Rugby Union Autumn Internationals

The final Autumn Internationals of the season  take place this weekend at Twickenham and the Millennium Stadium where England will face Australia and Wales South Africa, respectively.

Mark Leech - The All Blacks perform the Haka before the match.
Mark Leech – The All Blacks perform the Haka before the match.

Offside’s cameras have been on the touchline for many of the recent games during this informal series to take in the sights and photograph the state of international Rugby Union in late 2014.

Mark Leech - England coach Stuart Lancaster watching the warm up.
Mark Leech – England coach Stuart Lancaster watching the warm up.

Continue reading “Offside at the Rugby Union Autumn Internationals”

Offside’s weekend in pictures: Premier League & Autumn internationals

Offside’s recent weekend round-ups have featured a few mentions of action from La Liga, with the spotlight usually falling upon the early adventures of Luis Suarez in a Barcelona shirt.

Mark Leech: Some abstract action from Twickenham.
Mark Leech: Some abstract action from Twickenham.

This time however, we stretch our focus to a different type of ball rather than a foreign topflight football competition, with England facing off against New Zealand at Twickenham.

Simon Stacpoole: Members of the Armed Forces stand with a giant poppy before the match.
Simon Stacpoole: Members of the Armed Forces stand with a giant poppy before the match.

Yet first we come to Liverpool’s home game against Chelsea; last year’s runners up versus the team they pipped to third place, who now look like this season’s champions elect, and it’s only November. Continue reading “Offside’s weekend in pictures: Premier League & Autumn internationals”

Leechy’s dilemma: Ford Cortinas vs. expensive lenses

Just found an old negative of Stan Bowles, during a tidy up operation around the lightbox at Offside and after a quick bit of research discovered that it was taken on October 3 1978.

Not that 36th anniversaries are a big deal but as I own a memory that only remembers things connected with football or sports photography, something about this picture started to make the cogs revolve.

Mark Leech: 36 years ago today, Stan Bowles was looking none too happy.
Mark Leech: 36 years ago today, Stan Bowles was looking none too happy.

Back in that pre-Thatcher era life really did seem much simpler and then a new fangled, internal focusing range of lenses were launched, along with what seemed like extortionate price tags. Continue reading “Leechy’s dilemma: Ford Cortinas vs. expensive lenses”

Welcome back to the Ricoh Arena, Coventry!

It’s official. Coventry City are heading home.

Simon Stacpoole: A Coventry fan stands outside Sixfields Stadium holding a sign protesting against Coventry's move away from the Ricoh Arena.
Simon Stacpoole: A Coventry fan stands outside Sixfields Stadium holding a sign protesting against Coventry’s move away from the Ricoh Arena.

After almost two years spent on the road playing at Northampton’s Sixfields Stadium following a rent dispute, the Sky Blues are all set to return to the Ricoh Arena. Their first game back at the venue is penned in for September 5 against Gillingham.

Patrick McCann: Coventry City supporters react after Reading's Leroy Lita's penalty was saved by Reading's Stephen Bywater.
Patrick McCann: Coventry City supporters react after Reading’s Leroy Lita’s penalty was saved by Reading’s Stephen Bywater.

It’s some welcome news for the club’s fans who have been protesting and campaigning for a resolution to the drama that saw their team relocated, sent into administration, docked 10 points and effectively relegated to League One.

For some, Ricoh Arena almost seems a bit too good for third tier football. Given its design, facilities and shape goes, the arena is one of the most unique stadiums in the Football League, if not the entire pyramid of English football. Continue reading “Welcome back to the Ricoh Arena, Coventry!”

Offside’s best Rugby Union images ahead of a big year for the sport

It’s all going off in the world of rugby union. Over the past week, the IRB (that’s the International Rugby Board for the uninitiated) have announced their plans for next year’s World Rugby Conference and Exhibition, teaming up with Engage Sports Media, who also count the English FA and the Football League as clients. Not a bad name to call on to make the most out of what is set to be a gigantic 12 or so months for the sport.

Gerry Cranham: Gareth Edwards shrugs off the French defence to score a try for Wales in 1971.
Gerry Cranham: Gareth Edwards shrugs off the French defence to score a try for Wales in 1971.

Already,  there’s plenty of action afoot. The pinnacle of  the womens’ game, the 2014 Rugby World Cup, is well under way over in France. In just under a month’s time, the English Premiership season will kick off, with the mens’ 2015 Rugby World Cup scheduled to take place next September in England. Continue reading “Offside’s best Rugby Union images ahead of a big year for the sport”