No photos so newspaper uses cartoons for Southampton match

LONDON: It was cartoon time at Division Two side Southampton after the club restricted access to photographers, leaving an enterprising cartoonist to show Plymouth fans highlights of their side’s 1-0 season-opening win.

The Plymouth Herald newspaper decided to hire artist Chris Robinson to depict action from the match at St Mary’s stadium on Saturday after the hosts restricted access to an official photographer, prompting the paper to refuse to buy official photographs, the BBC reported.

The two cartoons which featured in place of the usual photographs were in the style of comic strip favourite Roy of the Rovers and depicted Luke Summerfield’s winning goal as well as a save by Plymouth keeper David Button.

“The Herald was left with a prospect of just taking pictures from an agency,” said Robinson.

“I was watching the game on TV and took a sketch book with me.”

Herald editor Bill Martin dubbed restricting access for photographers a “serious restriction” for press freedom.

“If professional sports clubs want to ... restrict the press’s access to reporting their matches, little by little the press are going to report their matches less and less,” he said.

“The first people to suffer will be the fans ... and the next people to suffer after that will be the sponsors.”

Southampton did not comment on the issue. — AFP

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