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Chief photographer leaves regional daily after ‘fantastic’ 45 years

Steve Riding...2nd December 2014

An award-winning chief photographer who has worked at a regional daily for more than 45 years is to leave the role today.

Steve Riding, left, has been at the Yorkshire Evening Post since 1969 when he started straight from school as a photographic junior.

He followed Leeds United around Europe in their heyday and covered major news events such as the Birmingham Bombings, Yorkshire Ripper, Kings Cross Fire and Kegworth plane crash.

Steve, 63, is taking voluntary redundancy from the Johnston Press title but will continue to work for them on a freelance basis, covering football, cricket and rugby.

Said Steve: “I have loved it. It has been a fantastic 45 years, all the things I have seen and done that I would never have dreamed of doing.

“My main love has been sport. I would never have gone to work anywhere else – I have always wanted to work in Leeds. It has been a tremendous career and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.”

After starting out as a photo printer, Steve was then offered a job as a staff photographer in 1971, when he did his NCTJ exams, and became chief photographer in the 1980s.

He celebrated 45 years at the daily last October when the title published a series of picture spreads looking back on his time there.

Steve has won a number of awards while at he YEP, including photographer of the year at Johnston Press’ staff awards in March.

He was also presented with an outstanding service award from the Leeds and District FA last month for his work photographing grassroots football.

Steve said one of his highlights was meeting his “hero”, darts player Phil Taylor, and said it was an honour to photograph Leeds United, Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire County Cricket Club, including trips to Wembley.

He has travelled around Europe with Leeds United and been on press trips to India and The Caribbean.

Steve has photographed the Royal family on many occasions and covered news events including the Birmingham Bombings, Yorkshire Ripper, Kings Cross Fire and Kegworth plane crash.

He has also enjoyed covering pop concerts including The Stones, Springsteen, Madonna David Bowie, Wings, Slade, Sex Pistols, Tina Turner, Roxy Music, Rod Stewart, Elton John and Status Quo.

He added: “I cover grassroots football and cricket every weekend, getting as much pleasure from this as anything.”

A few of Steve’s favourite photos are pictured below.

Roundhay Athletic v Beecon FC in the JFC Sports Trophy in Leeds Sunday League

Roundhay Athletic v Beecon FC in the JFC Sports Trophy in Leeds Sunday League

The Kegworth air disaster on 8 January 1989 when a British Midland Flight 92, a Boeing 737-400, crashed onto the embankment of the M1 motorway near Leicester.

The Kegworth air disaster on 8 January 1989 when a British Midland Flight 92, a Boeing 737-400, crashed onto the embankment of the M1 motorway near Leicester.

Tiger Woods in relaxed mood at The Open at Royal St. George's.

Tiger Woods in relaxed mood at The Open at Royal St. George’s.

A young fan kisses the hand of Princess Diana on a visit to Leeds.

A young fan kisses the hand of Princess Diana on a visit to Leeds.

21 comments

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  • June 12, 2015 at 8:54 am
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    Nice one Steve…great to see you are still on track to produce the great shots we all love…Enjoy….Great respect for a true Pro.

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  • June 12, 2015 at 9:32 am
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    Congratulations on a marathon stint which included some of the glory years of regional newspapers. Wonder how many of today’s young photographers and reporters will one day be able to say they had “a fantastic 45 years” in the job. Sorry to be gloomy..

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  • June 12, 2015 at 10:30 am
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    45 fantastic years and walking out with a redundo wedge. Perfect!

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  • June 12, 2015 at 11:13 am
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    Good way to go: voluntary redundancy, not too far from pension age, plus freelance to follow. Wish everyone could be so lucky. The downside is that you’ll get to see the papers as readers do and, like me, may notice that cutting staff does mean cutting quality. Advertisers notice too: a Life & Style supplement in The Yorkshire Post last week contained no paid for advertising, just house ads. Enjoy your free time!

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  • June 12, 2015 at 11:14 am
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    Huge respect for a proper lensman and proper gentleman too.

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  • June 12, 2015 at 12:07 pm
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    You were there for the best of times Steve – enjoy the rest

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  • June 12, 2015 at 12:11 pm
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    Working with Steve was always a pleasure, marvellous snapper and always helpful to subs and tolerant of the war zone jokes when he fetched up at our desk with his mega lenses. He’s a really nice man and a great favourite of mine. Not surprised to hear he’s still going to freelance, can’t imagine him ever hanging up his cameras.

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  • June 12, 2015 at 12:19 pm
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    Well done mate and good that you’re still covering the grassroots sport.Can’t beat a bit of Sunday League for entertainment.

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  • June 12, 2015 at 1:24 pm
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    I’ve never worked with anyone like Steve. – he’s one on his own. One of the few poeple who can genuinely be called a legend. Best of luck for the future Steve, see you at the Old Farts’ do.
    PS It’s your round!

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  • June 12, 2015 at 2:21 pm
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    Good luck Steve although I’m worried you’ll spend your retirement following the England football team around the world

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  • June 12, 2015 at 3:47 pm
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    As a reporter going out on a story it was always a pleasure to work with Steve.

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  • June 12, 2015 at 8:38 pm
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    Like most snappers of his era, Steve must have been the unsung mentor of hundreds of hesitant junior reporters.
    The demise of that unofficial but invaluable on -the-job training has left many newcomers floundering through lack of confidence in today’s crippled newsrooms..
    .

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  • June 13, 2015 at 7:19 pm
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    How many Snappers would cover Sunday game in snow now? “Can you send us a photo please?” No paper will have people like him within a few years. Just hobbyists with expensive gear they cannot use properly! For professional snapper read UGC.

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  • June 14, 2015 at 9:28 am
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    The end of an era! The EP will never be the same again.It sound’s like a nobrainer to me! Grab the money and run.before it all goes down the pan. Good luck for the future Steve you deserve it.

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  • June 14, 2015 at 3:03 pm
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    One of life’s good guys – with the biggest heart, loudest laugh and sharpest eye for a terrific picture. Enjoy, Fritz… ever grateful for your lessons in cricket.

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  • June 15, 2015 at 9:16 am
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    A brilliant photographer with the keenest eye who has never been burdened with an over inflated ego. That’s what’s endeared Steve to hacks like myself over four decades and also to those who lined up in front of his lens. As Anne Pickles rightly remarks Steve “one of life’s good guys”. Indeed, a legend!

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  • June 15, 2015 at 1:34 pm
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    Steve constantly and persuasively won the battle for picture space over word space with his work. Therein lies the compliment. A rare and precious talent – and what a character! Sithee.

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  • June 22, 2015 at 8:36 am
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    Always a pleasure to work with, and always cheerful!

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