PAUL Leech has won the Suffolk FA Grassroots Photograph of the Season competition sponsored by Lockdales for the second time in three years.
Former Woodbridge Town striker Leech, who is now the club’s official photographer, won the inaugural competition two years ago.
And he has now repeated his success in the competition which is open to amateur photographers and organised in conjunction with Archant Ltd, publishers of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star.
His photograph of Woodbridge players and supporters celebrating Mark Ray’s late winner away to Braintree Town Reserves in Division One of the Thurlow Nunn League (pictured above) was the unanimous choice of the judges.
All three judges – Liza Machan, Head of Photography at Lockdales auctioneers of Martlesham, Ross Halls, Image Curator at Archant Suffolk and Marketing & Communications Officer at Suffolk FA Nick Garnham – voted it in first place.
Liza Machan said: “It is the essence of what grassroots photography is all about. It is a lovely, positive shot.”
Ross Halls said: “Technically it is well-focused on the scene – it is very rare that the crowd in the background are all in focus as well which shows their emotion.”
Nick Garnham added: “The photograph encapsulates the highs and lows of non-league football. The Braintree goalkeeper and defender look crestfallen as do their two fans on the left of the photograph, while the two Woodbridge players and their supporters are all celebrating as the ball nestles in the net.”
Runner-up in this season’s competition was Peter Frost’s entry of Woodbridge Town Under-10s thanking their parents for their time and support during the season.
Daryl Butcher, who is the Referee secretary of the Touchline SIL, took third place for his photograph of the Old Newton United goalkeeper catching the ball one-handed in a Division One match versus Trimley Red Devils.
Nick Garnham added: “There was once again a high standard of entries and a number of new entrants, including both Peter and Daryl.
“A big thank you to everyone who entered this season’s competition and to our sponsors Lockdales and the support of Archant Ltd for making it happen.”
The three winners will each receive a canvas of their winning entries to be presented at a later date.