Liverpool Echo Grand National Souvenir Special, April 1989.

As an 18-year-old art college student in 1988, I had big ambitions to be a sports photographer. I still do now at the age of 53! I went along to the Grand National in Liverpool - getting there several hours early in order to get the best view at the front next to the notorious Becher's Brook fence. I was thrilled to see one of my heroes - the late Eamonn McCabe and his colleagues setting up their remote control Nikon F4's with fisheye lenses at the base of Becher's.

When the horses came flying over the huge fence, one of them landed on it's backside and skidded along the turf right in front of me - with the jockey hanging on for dear life. He did a great job to get the horse back on it's feet as the rest of the field disappeared into the distance. I clicked one frame on my Canon AE1 with 28mm lens, and had a feeling that I'd managed to get it in focus. When I got home the BBC News showed how that horse - Rhyme 'n' Reason - had managed to somehow go on and win the race. I developed the film at college the following Monday and realised I'd got a scoop - but it was old news!

I sent a print to the Liverpool Echo anyway, and they printed a centre-page spread of it in the following year's Grand National Souvenir Special - and sent me a cheque for £100. My sports photography career had peaked a bit early!



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