Andy Pearce’s stunning snap wins Suffolk FA Grassroots Photograph of the Season
“It’s just stunning”, “very unusual” and “immediately eye-catching” was how the judges summed up the winning entry in a competition to find the best grassroots football photograph of the 2016-17 season.
Andy Pearce was unanimously voted the winner of the Suffolk FA Grassroots Photograph of the Season competition sponsored by DE Photo organised in conjunction with Archant Ltd, publishers of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star.
His winning entry was taken last October as Ipswich Valley Rangers Under-14 faced Stradbroke Under-14s in the Ipswich Sunday Youth Football League at St Clements in Ipswich.
The 50-year-old, from Ipswich, admitted: “It was a case of right place, right time. I think people would have taken photographs even if there was no football match going on as it was such a beautiful rainbow.”
All three judges – Steve Cross of sponsors DE Photo, Archant Ltd photographer Sarah Lucy Brown and Suffolk FA Marketing & Communications Officer Nick Garnham – voted it in first place.
Steve said: “It’s just stunning” while Sarah remarked: “This shot jumped out at me as soon as I saw it. It’s very unusual and I liked the way it combines the beauty of Suffolk, with its big open skies, with football. Very beautiful.”
Runner-up in this season’s competition was Andrew Whinney whose photograph of members of the Kesgrave Kestrels Blues Under-9s squad caught the eye of the judges.
The 37-year-old, who like Andy Pearce was entering the competition for the first time, lives in Kesgrave.
In third place for the second season running was Paul Voller, who lives in Felixstowe. The 64-year-old’s photograph was of AFC Sudbury goalkeeper Marcus Garnham’s stunning one-handed save in the home game against Harrow Borough in March.
Entries from Dean Warner of Saxmundham and Paul Leech, last year’s winner who lives in Woodbridge, were voted joint fourth, while Ben Pooley of Holbrook was sixth.
Nick Garnham added: “We were delighted that the number of entries almost tripled in size from the previous year’s competition and that the overall standard was so high.”