Sunday, September 26, 2010

Obituary: Famed British disability sports photographer Graham Bool dies

From The Guardian in the UK:

Graham Bool, the former Paralympian and renowned disability sport photographer, passed away on Friday September 17 from a heart attack at his home in Great Sailing, Essex. He was 62.

Graham was a character loved throughout the Paralympic world, by athletes and journalists alike. Always smiling, booming laugh, always taking photographs, and always looking forward to a beer after work.

Graham had polio when he was eighteen months old. As a child he wore metal callipers on his legs before learning to walk with a stick in his teens, but it was with a wheelchair that Bool found he could work with the greatest freedom.

Britain powers to 13 golds in Eindhoven This freedom saw Graham compete as a member of the Great Britain Paralympic Team, participating in the Paralympic Games in 1972, 1976 and 1980.

Married to Frances, at the birth of their children Graham retired from playing Wheelchair Basketball at an international level to concentrate on his family.

In 1987, Graham Bool Photography was formed and most people today will remember Graham as the photographer sitting at the end of the basketball court or athletics track capturing sport at its very best and more recently with Toni, his girlfriend, at his side.

Tony Sainsbury, former Great Britain Wheelchair basketball team manager paid tribute to Graham.

"This is probably the one occasion when one can truly say the Paralympic Games and Paralympic major sport will never be the same again," he said.

"The ever-present telephoto lens was his trademark and he captured for the movement and the individuals concerned the great moments of Paralympic sport. He has left an enormous legacy and a vacuum which will be near impossible to fill."

These sentiments have been echoed by people throughout the sporting fraternity including Sir Philip Craven MBE and people from all over the world who have been paying tribute to Graham.

The glass was always half-full, rather than half-empty. "My most memorable recent job was Beijing. I’d been warned that the Chinese were unhelpful and would look at you and stare. I found the opposite. Everyone was just fantastic. Beijing was memorable, enjoyable and exhausting, but I’d go again."

He was a great man to work alongside at the last four Paralympic Games. London 2012 will miss him, and it is tragic that he left us before witnessing a home Paralympic Games.

To view Graham Bool’s photography, please visit