Getty Images sports photographers have captured over 27,000 sporting events worlwide. In this series, some of our best known photographers and contributors recall the most iconic image they have captured so far...
Ronnie O’Sullivan is snooker’s modern day superstar. He’s unpredictable, intimidating, surly, occasionally funny, always controversial and above all supremely and naturally gifted on the baize.
His speed of play led to his nickname “The Rocket”.
O’Sullivan was once accused of disrespect by an opponent for playing shots against him with his weaker left hand. “I'm better with my left hand than he was with his right.” replied The Rocket.
Predictably, in a sport often accused of being short of characters he’s incredibly popular.
I took this picture in 2010 at the World Championships at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. It’s in the backstage area that the players walk through on the way back to their dressing rooms.
I’d seen the light bulb against the black walls and also noticed the players made their way off through there. Towards the end of the session, I sneaked away from the photographers positions and waited.
It was a very simple picture to take; the biggest challenge was holding a door closed to stop other snappers walking through the shot!
O’Sullivan doesn’t like having his picture taken backstage but I think the beginning of a short sharp glare on his face makes the picture. I couldn’t have posed it better.
I’d love to have a signed print of this picture, maybe one day I’ll work up the courage to ask him.
About Michael Regan
After a year as an assistant - developing films, editing and working on the picture desk for a local agency in his hometown of Leicester, England - Michael started as a trainee sports photographer in January 1998.
His passion for football saw him focus primarily on that sport although he is a keen tennis photographer when his schedule allows.
Regan’s remit saw him eventually work closely with the FA to become the in house photographer to the England senior team, a role which continued after he joined Getty Images in June 2009.
Michael has covered three World Cups (France 1998, Germany 2006, South Africa 2010), the last four European Championships and several Champions League Finals. However, his favourite event to shoot is the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, an event he has covered five times.
In 2012 he was selected to be part of the Getty Images team to cover the London Olympics, his first.
Recently Michael has worked closely with several clients wishing to make use of his football expertise including Adidas, Nike and FIFA for whom he covered last year’s Club World Cup in Tokyo, Japan.