Allsport Agency: Sporting Eye

  March –
April 1997

Image by Chris Cole from the exhibition Sporting Eye at the Gallery of Photography March 7 to April 12 1997

One hundred years of great sporting photographs from the Allsport Agency

The Gallery of Photography is delighted to present a major exhibition of professional sports photography in March from the Allsport Agency.

The vast majority of people do not actually attend sporting events, but see them through the eyes of the media. And when they look at sports photography, they look not so much for a record of the event, but for the emotions and relationships with which they can identify. Sports photography is about moments of ecstasy, it pictures the body heroically in victory or defeat. Billy Stickland’s picture of Paul Gascoigne weeping after England’s defeat in the semi-final of the 1990 World Cup was, unwittingly or not, a public acknowledgment that real men do cry, and in public too.

Image by Simon Bruty of Luis Enrique scoring for Spain from the exhibition Sporting Eye at the Gallery of Photography March 7 to April 12 1997

Image by Simon Bruty of Luis Enrique scoring for Spain from the exhibition Sporting Eye at the Gallery of Photography March 7 to April 12 1997

Allsport Agency set up in the late 60’s by Tony Duffy, then an enthusiastic amateur photographer. The Agency is acknowledged to be the leading international sports picture agency. The historical collection comprises black and white sports images complimenting the color library archives and visitors to the exhibition will be able to view immortalised moments in sporting history.

At a recent Picture Editors Awards, three Allsports photographers had their work recognised from over 7000 entries.

Sport promotes a dream of equality, a notion of excellence and a sense of belonging. Photography with its ability to capture a single moment, is the natural purveyor of the idyll and it provides us with significant histories, packed with action, and makes spectators of us all.

‘This exhibition has some of the most impressive sports photographs I have ever seen. Who will ever forget Tony Duffy’s immortalised image of Bob Beamon leaping into the long jump pit and shattering the world record at the 1968 Mexico Olympics? That was the picture that started it all; now they have many award winning photographers continuing the tradition of taking the best sports photographs in the world’. Eamonn McCabe is Picture Editor of the Guardian and was named Sports Photographer of the Year a record four times.

Image by Tony Duffy of Bob Beamon at the Mexico City Olympics 1968 fro the exhibition Sporting Eye at the Gallery of Photography March 7 to April 12 1997

Image by Tony Duffy of Bob Beamon at the Mexico City Olympics 1968 fro the exhibition Sporting Eye at the Gallery of Photography March 7 to April 12 1997