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Chief photographer who spent 45 years in regional press dies aged 73

phil loachA chief photographer who worked in the regional press for 45 years has died aged 73.

Tributes have been paid to Phil Loach, who served titles across the West Midlands during his working life.

Phil, pictured, worked on his hometown paper the Dudley Herald and later Stourbridge’s County Express, where he became chief photographer.

For several years he operated as a freelance and then joined Newsquest where he became chief photographer for the Stourbridge, Dudley and Halesowen News titles.

Phil, who lived in Tenbury Wells, died in Hereford County Hospital on Wednesday after a 16-month illness.

Alan Worrall, former deputy editor of the County Express newspaper, said: “I worked alongside Phil for more than 30 years.

“He was a big man in every respect – always full of energy and enthusiasm. He was a remarkable cameraman who had the rare knack of always being in the right place at the right time.

“He could be depended upon to produce brilliant pictures which illustrated events or incidents with eye-catching clarity.”

Phil was educated at the Sir Gilbert Claughton School, Stourbridge College of Art and Leicester College of Art where he studied photography.

Apart from his press work, Phil was also a keen and talented documentary photographer and his work was displayed at a number of public exhibitions, including at the Black Country Museum, the Dudley Canal Trust and Himley Hall Arts Centre.

Alan added: “He leaves behind a huge collection of splendid documentary photographs which hopefully will be archived and maintained for future study by students of photography and local historians.”