Everyone at Getty Images Sport was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of legendary sports and tennis photographer Tommy Hindley recently.
Tommy left an indelible mark on the industry as it grew and despite being a fierce competitor, colleagues at Getty Images Sport only shared the highest respect for Tommy and his passion for sports photography, determination and care for his fellow professionals.
Here, Getty Images Senior Tennis photographer, Clive Brunskill pays his own tribute.
In my mind, Tommy was one of the best tennis photographers of all time. His knowledge of the game was incredible and his work ethic was something many photographers drew inspiration from, including me. He was a lot of fun to be around.
One day when rain must have stopped play, we worked out that having covered the Australian Open since 1990; we had spent just over a year of our lives at the Melbourne Hilton if we rolled all our stays into one. This is where one of the greatest Tommy stories happened.
It was 1994 and my first Aussie Open for my new employer Allsport. Tommy and I went together as usual, arriving at the Hilton reception in the very early hours of the morning. We get to the room and I’m exhausted so I tell Tommy I will go to sleep. Tommy tells me he will work on his new Apple Mac laptop which he had no idea how to use. His final words were “I will run a bath.”
I did not think it a good idea and around 2 hours later I wake to a loud knocking on the door. I look over to the desk and Tommy is face down in his laptop fast asleep. I then hear the sound of water and put my foot down. The room is around an inch deep in water. I wake Tommy and open the door to the hotel manager who is looking on in horror. The thoughts running through my head are I’m going to get sacked by Allsport as the cost of the damage done will be massive. All Tommy can say is “It’s just a bit of water,” then proceeds to argue with the manager about how many times we have stayed at the hotel in the past and why we should not be charged extra.
We moved to another room and nearly 3 weeks later the humidifiers were still running trying to dry that room and the one below it!
Tommy was one of my closest friends in the business. I learnt so much from him about sports photography and in particular, tennis photography. His work was an inspiration when I was younger and made me want to photograph tennis all the more. Since the early days of our friendship, more than 30 years ago, he has brought many more young photographers into the business, all of them learning their trade with Professional Sport, his company.
I respected Tommy as a person, friend and photographer, and have enjoyed his company for most of my career. It’s going to be hard in the future not having him around on the tennis tour.
Tommy, the tennis tour will never be as much fun or the same again without you my friend, will always miss you, rest in peace.
About Tommy Hindley (taken from the SJA)
Tommy Hindley was a stalwart member of the Professional Sports Photographers Association and then the SJA. He started his Professional Sport photo library in 1977, and developed a client list which included the top advertising agencies as well as news outlets and the International Tennis Federation and Wimbledon.
He worked on a range of sports, and covered the Olympic Games and football World Cups throughout his career. His pictures were regularly cited for awards and accolades.