'When football was football': The photographer who witnessed sporting history through a camera lens

Photographer Sefton Samuels has spoken to ITV Granada Reports' Andy Bonner.

A photographer who has witnessed sporting history through the lens of a camera will see his pictures exhibited in a museum.

After borrowing his sister's camera to go to a match, Sefton Samuels' love of shooting football soon developed.

He is now one of our most iconic photojournalists and has spent his life taking pictures of some of the best known players and managers across the North West.

He told ITV Granada Reports: "I started taking one shot and then sitting up to Wembley a couple of times for cup finals. 

"I got a shot of poor old Bert Trautmann with his broken neck still nobly playing on."

Credit: ITV News / Sefton Samuels

His photos of football, from a bygone era, have now been unveiled at an exhibition at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

The photos are not just from a different era, Sefton says it almost seems like they are from a different game.

They chronicle the changes in society over the years, told through the lens of football. 

He said: "It's changed a hell of a lot. It's gone very commercial. The price of football's gone sky high and the price of tickets has gone up alarmingly as well.

"In the old days, when I used to get in for about six pence. Those days have gone."

He was described by painter LS Lowry as his favourite photographer, with his style compared to that of photographer Bill Brandt

Credit: ITV News

His work captures a slice of social history at a time when 'football was football' and at 90, he would like one more win at his own club.

"For the first time I've never been allowed to photograph the manager", he said. "Pep Guardiola just doesn't want to know.

"So I've been supporting Liverpool a bit more. And I think their manager, I'm haven't tried to get him yet, but I just have a feeling he'll be a lot more amenable than Pep.

Sefton's work - When Football was Football - will be on display at Manchester Football Museum from 24 September 2021 - 31 December 2021.