As a Sports Photographer I was asked to photograph Blackburn Rovers star Tyrhys Dolan who joined a group of local residents for a special walk at the club’s Ewood Park home, to mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021.
The 19-year-old attacker – who is sponsored by the club’s Community Trust – completed a Mile for Mind with participants of the ‘Jack’s Walkers’ programme, as they returned to Rovers’ home ground for the first time since the outbreak of coronavirus.
The group completed four laps of the pitch perimeter and remained in good spirits despite adverse weather conditions in East Lancashire. Dolan is a regular when it comes to community outreach and is keen to raise awareness when it comes to mental health, having lost close friend Jeremy Wisten last year.
Speaking after the walk, Dolan said: “It’s massive for me to have come here today and walk and talk with some supporters. Some of the ladies have been coming to Ewood for so many years and I thought it was great to learn more about them.
“A lot of people have been isolated this year, so for them to come back to the stadium and see one of the players was great, I think it will keep them looking forward. It’s been a blessing for me to come here and do what I love every single day, and just to be doing this today has put a smile on my face – it’s lifted me.
“I’m really thankful to the club and the supporters. When I was a kid, I always said that if I got into the position of being a footballer, I’d want to care about everything and give something back. We’re all equal and without the people we wouldn’t be here, so whenever there’s a chance to show my gratitude, I’ll do it. I want to be a role model and set an example.
“The mental health work is very important to me too. I’ve struggled personally and I think it’s so important to raise awareness – days like today are amazing. If we keep putting positivity out there, it can go such a long way.
“I’ve got a little necklace with a picture of Jeremy in, and I look at that before every game. That’s my bigger reason to go out there and give it everything, I want to make him and his family proud.
“I’d say to anyone that’s struggling ‘it’s been a tough time, but keep your head up and keep going’. Day by day, you’re going to keep getting better, so don’t give up. You’ve got to keep strong and keep stepping in the right direction and hopefully we can do that together.”
Find out how you can get involved in the Mile for Mind at mind.org.uk/efl
For nearly three decades Paul has been producing car photography in Chorley, Preston, Manchester, Lancaster and all major cities across the North West with crystal clear and brilliantly-composed shots for newspapers, magazines, private and corporate clients.
His keen eye and passion for getting just the right image is what keeps his customers coming back time and again.
With experience across a vast range of styles and subjects, Paul is just as comfortable working with world-famous Premiership footballers and Olympic gold medalists as he is with local company directors and wedding guests on the big day.
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Paul covers most of the North West including Preston, Blackpool, Manchester, Liverpool, Bolton, Lancaster and Chorley in a variety of projects, specialising in Public Relations (PR photography) corporate and sports events and I can be contacted on 07796 146931 or using the email form below.
Sports Photographer Blackburn
Paul pays close attention to the finer details in all his photography and prides himself on how he looks after his customers for a truly personal photographic experience.
Every photoshoot is a new and exciting project and the utmost of care and creativity is ingrained in Paul’s work.
There are many aspects to consider for a good photo-shoot, but ensuring you get the right shots for your chosen output such as print, web, large format or something else, it isn’t just about the day of the shoot. With every client, Paul invests time into pre-shoot planning and preparation, and extensive editing and formatting once the shoot is done.