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Former regional daily photographer dies in Greece aged 62

A former regional daily photographer who took one of the most famous photographs in a football club’s history has died aged 62.

Tributes have been paid from the worlds of journalism and sport to Neil Medhurst, formerly of the Leicester Mercury, who has died at his home on the Greek island of Kefalonia.

Known as ‘Nelly’ to colleagues, Neil began working at the Mercury aged 16 and has been described as an “exceptional” sports photographer.

A supporter of Leicester City FC, Neil photographed club legend Steve Walsh celebrating his second and decisive goal against local rivals Derby County in the 1994 Division One play-off final at Wembley – a picture considered “iconic” among his fellow fans.

Neil with his picture of Leicester City's Steve Walsh after scoring at Wembley in 1994

Neil with his picture of Leicester City’s Steve Walsh after scoring at Wembley in 1994

Paying tribute to Neil, Steve said: “It’s a sad day. I knew him well. He was a great bloke. The last time I saw him was in November at a supermarket near the football stadium in Leicester. He was on his way back abroad.

“Obviously, I have to thank him for taking that picture and capturing me at that time. It was the first time we got promoted to the Premier League. People still buy that photograph after all those years.”

Over the course of his career, Neil also photographed bands including The Rolling Stones, The Who, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Wings.

He took early retirement in 2003 after battling cancer, before moving to Greece in 2006 where he earned a living photographing weddings and holiday villas.

Andy Baker, picture editor at the Mercury, worked with Neil for about eight years.

He said: “He was an exceptional sports photographer. He knew the job inside out. I got on with him really well. He was a good guy.”

Neil suffered a heart attack and died at his home on Saturday afternoon.  His funeral took place yesterday in Argostoli, Kefalonia.

He is survived by son Daniel, 34, a photographer who is based in London, and his fiancée Joy Bradbury.

The pair originally met while both working at the Mercury in the 1970s. They went their separate ways, but got talking again on Facebook and Joy moved out to live with him seven years ago.

She said: “Neil had a great sense of humour and was the kindest person you will ever meet. He was a nice, genuine and kind person. I am just devastated. It was such a shock.

“He had a lovely relaxed life here. He just loved the lifestyle – the Greeks are fabulous people. He loved the tavernas. But, the highlight of his week was putting Sky Sports on to watch Leicester City. He was a huge Leicester City fan.”


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  • April 8, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Top man – enjoyed seeing him at the Red Lion when he lived at Huncote in Leicester

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  • April 11, 2016 at 7:27 am

    I went out on a stack of jobs with Nelly as a reporter at the Merc in the late 80s/early 90s.
    He was full of colourful anecdotes and witty one liners and knew Leicester inside out.
    And he had a unique way of connecting with the punters and getting the best shots possible.
    He was a good lad, Nelly, and it’s good to know he had 10 great years in the sun before his time finally ran out.

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