Olympic legend attends Harpenden author’s book launch at Lord’s Cricket Ground

Harpenden author Marc Aspland's book "The Art of Sports Photography" was launched at the MCC Museum,

Harpenden author Marc Aspland's book "The Art of Sports Photography" was launched at the MCC Museum, Lord's Cricket Ground in London. Marc is pictured, left, with Sir Matthew Pinsent, the four time Olympic gold medallist rower. - Credit: James Cannon

David Beckham was a no-show, as were rugby legends Lawrence Dallaglio and Jonny Wilkinson.

But that did not stop hundreds of people from packing into the MCC Museum, at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, for the launch of a Harpenden photographer’s book last Thursday (11).

There, near the museum’s most famous exhibit, the original and tiny Ashes urn, Marc’s book The Art of Sports Photography received a round of applause from friends, family, sports writers and photographers.

The moment signified a major step forward for Marc, as the 50-year-old chief sports photographer of The Times is still recovering from severe head injuries after a cycling accident in April.

Among the well-wishers was four times Olympic gold medallist rower and broadcaster Sir Matthew Pinsent.

The Olympic legend said Marc “has taken loads of photos of me. I’ve known Marc for the best part of 20 years. It isn’t just the technical side of photography that makes him good, it’s having an eye for a photo which no-one else does.

“At the Olympics there are hundreds of snappers, but Marc will come out with something that will make you stop turning the pages of the newspaper, and he does that consistently. Marc is thinking on his feet all the time.”

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Matt Dickinson, chief football correspondent for The Times, said that he enjoyed working with Marc - “one of the great talents of our industry” – as he did not get in the way when he was interviewing sportspeople, who usually preferred talking to the photographer.

Referring to Marc’s “little bump on the head”, Matt said he looked forward to the photographer’s return to work, possibly covering the Ryder Cup.

Those at the event were able to see a wide variety of memorabilia from the cricket world, including a letter written by Australian legend Sir Donald Bradman and a sparrow famously killed at Lord’s by a ball bowled by Jahangir Khan in 1936.

There is also paraphernalia linked to Shane Warne, including a plaster cast he wore after being injured by a ball bowled by Brett Lee during a MCC versus the rest of the world match.

David Beckham had apparently said he hoped to attend the launch, along with Lawrence Dallaglio and Jonny Wilkinson – the latter having written a foreword for Marc’s 144-page book.