Video: YEP Leeds photographer Steve Riding celebrates 45 years in the job

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from the Yorkshire Ripper murders to the shooting of PC Ian Broadhurst, the Hillsborough aftermath, Billy Bremner’s funeral, Princess Diana, the Rolling Stones and Madonna – Steve Riding has snapped them all.

For the past 45 years the Yorkshire Evening Post photographer has been capturing the shots that bring the publication’s stories to life.

Steve Riding

Steve Riding

Now a familiar face in his own right across the county, the 62-year-old is best known for his pictures of sporting events – which the life-long sports fan regularly takes on his days off.

He has met and photographed every Leeds United manager from Don Revie onwards – except Brian Clough, his one regret.

The jolly grandfather-of-three regularly works six days a week, sometimes seven, and while many of his peers have already retired he has no desire to give up the job he adores.

He said: “I still love taking pictures and I’m just going to keep on going as long as I can.

“It’s good fun and I’m very fortunate to have spent all my life photographing and meeting all these people that most people never get the chance to.”

Steve, who grew up in Gledhow, stumbled into the profession after a week of work experience at the YEP’s original Albion Street offices.

He joined the paper as office junior in 1969, sweeping floors, making tea and crucially, helping to develop photographs.

He began accompanying the photographers on jobs and when a vacancy arose he seized the opportunity, combining his work with studying for his photographic journalism qualifications.

He worked alongside then YEP reporter Mark Knopfler, who went on to form Dire Straits – and later snapped the world-famous guitarist when he performed in Leeds.

His portfolio is jaw-dropping, from the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings to the 1989 Kegworth air disaster, King’s Cross fire, the Queen, the Sex Pistols, Roxy Music, Bruce Springsteen, cricketer Geoffrey Boycott’s 100th 100, snooker player Paul Hunter’s funeral and the discovery of Dewsbury schoolgirl Shannon Matthews.

But his career highlights are, of course, sporting occasions – photographing Leeds United in the dressing room at Wembley after winning the Charity Shield in 1992 and Leeds Rhinos at Wembley after winning the Challenge Cup this summer.

Football fan Steve, who travels the world to watch England when he’s not snapping Leeds’ own professional and amateur teams – has been bringing joy to players and supporters for three decades with his hugely-popular YEP photographic supplement Goals, formerly known as Back of the Net.

He has collected countless awards including Yorkshire Sports Photographer of the Year – several times – but his most treasured is the Press Gazette’s Sports Photographer of the Year for the UK and Ireland, 2007.

Series: Don’t miss next week’s YEP when we will be publishing a series of special picture spreads chosen by the man himself to celebrate 45 years at the paper. And go to www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk to watch a video of Steve talking about the highlights of his career.

Headingley Hill Congregational Church on Headingley Lane. . Picture Tony Johnson.

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