Friends and colleagues have paid tribute to former Birmingham Post and Mail photographer John Reavenall – described as “one of the best”.
The award-winning photographer, who has died aged 63, was known affectionately as Reavers.
During a career spanning 45 years, John, from Bournville, photographed thousands of Brummies and covered news events from Royal visits to celebrity interviews.
In 1971 he received the Dixon’s Midlands Photographer of the year award from Princess Alexandra at the Birmingham Press Club.
Former colleague Alan Williams, who worked with Mr Reavenall for 20 years, said: “He was a wonderful gentleman and photographer, particularly at cricket and rugby, but an all-round great diary photographer.
“John was always willing to give advice to young photographers and welcome people into the department.
“He went through so many transitions in photo journalism, from mixing chemicals to taking pictures in black and white with a traditional camera and then on to digital, and he took it all in his stride. He went through the ‘golden age’ of newspaper photography.
“John was such a laugh to work with and so knowledgeable, particularly in engineering. He loved trains and tinkering with cars.”
He was born on May 5, 1946 and grew up in Witton. His father owned a butcher’s shop near Villa Park.
He was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School in Aston, before joining the Birmingham Post in 1964. The family later moved to Bournville and he remained in the family home after his parents passed away.
He chose to take early retirement in November 2008.
Post and Mail picture editor Steve Murphy paid tribute to a “legend”.
He said: “He was a friend to all, not just a colleague. He was the nicest chap, extremely well liked across all departments, everyone had a lot of time and respect for him .
“He was a real gentleman and a great character. Lots of people in Birmingham knew him. He took pictures of generations of people, from when they were a baby to adulthood.”
Deputy picture editor Marcus Queenborough, who worked with Mr Reavenall for 26 years, added: “John was greatly loved and respected by many across the country. I have been inundated with people offering their sympathies since the sad news broke.”