Mike King passed away a few days ago, you probably wouldn’t have heard of him, but he was one of the very best sports photographers of his generation, a master of follow focus before the days of full on auto focus in modern DSLR’s
He often felt a little lost in today’s photography world, as much as he enjoyed digital, it meant that his ‘edge’ over everyone else had been closed purely by the advancement of technology. And I know he struggled on a day to day basis with life, but he pushed on with that wry grin and a little quip. Mike took many iconic sports photos over the years working for various agencies and newspapers, before going freelance. He worked at World Cups, Olympic Games, Cup Finals and countries all around the World, including on multiple occasions trips to both North & South Poles.
He used to tell me that I was a just as good a photographer as him, I knew I wasn’t anywhere near as good of course, but he just always wanted to encourage and support all photographers to get better and find their ‘voice’.
I know that if Mike commented on anything I’d taken it was worth a million times more than any other comment, and he was always so kind about my snaps but he’d also tell you if you were going wrong, not in a nasty or smug way, but just a small word or two.
I’m so glad there’s been such an amazing outpouring of emotion, stories, and love for Mike these past couple of days from his many friends around the world and by those who had never met him but knew him through his work – he had his dark days but I think he would have been cheered up by it all, even though he’d have thought he wasn’t really worthy – he will be very much missed but he leaves an incredible legacy behind
One of the very best as a photographer, and twice that as a person – always ready to help in anyway he could, would lend his camera equipment, his car or offer a roof over anyones head that found themselves in London – he didn’t have an ego, yet it could have been as big as a planet when you consider the places he’d been, the people he’d taken photos of, and the respect he had in the industry (unlike some of his fellow pros I’m afraid to say as we used to chuckle about)
He was the nicest, kindest, most humble and caring man I’ve ever had the honour to call a friend.
He will be very much missed by many many people, it’s a shame that he probably was never aware of just how many would be missing him, and would have been rather shy of all the attention. He was a loving son and very proud father.
He passed away at the age of 52 after collapsing in his mother’s garden – many tears have been shred since – the photography adventures we’d often talked about will have to wait until we meet up again on our clouds
Rest in peace mate, the photographers photographer, always & forever the King