Bielsa, Viduka, Speed and Batty's Leeds United joy in top Andrew Varley photos

If there is a defining image from a Yorkshire sports event, there is a good chance that Andrew Varley was behind the lens.

Gary Speed and David Batty celebrate at Leeds United. Picture: Andrew Varley.
Gary Speed and David Batty celebrate at Leeds United. Picture: Andrew Varley.

Mr Varley’s career began in 1975 when he was still in school and joined Hickes Photographers “for the grand old sum of £1 a day,” he said.

This was after his father, Doncaster-born Daily Mirror photographer John Varley - whose images include the famous 1970 shot of Pelé exchanging shirts with Bobby Moore at the World Cup in Mexico - decided that his son “wasn’t going to be sat at home kicking my heels in the school holiday”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

After leaving school he joined the firm properly - getting a company moped - before going over to the Mercury Press in Liverpool. In the late 1970s he set up as a freelance sports photographer aged just 18 and says he has not looked back since.

Marcelo Bielsa lifting the Championship trophy for Leeds United after the manager took the club back to the Premier League. Picture: Andrew Varley.

He has travelled around the world - to Europe with Leeds United, to Australia and nearby nations with the Rugby League, and to America for the golf.

Mr Varley, 60, said: “I always loved sport because it’s so photogenic.”

Having covered Leeds United for so many years - an image from his first trip to Elland Road was of Duncan McKenzie jumping over a Mini - he is pleased to see them back in the Premier League.

“I’ve been through everything with them,” said the Leeds man.

Mark Viduka celebrates after scoring for Leeds against Beikta in the Champions League.

Mr Varley’s son Jack, 32, also works with him part-time, and will likely take over his father’s archives one day.

Duncan McKenzie jumps over a Mini during photographer Andrew Varley's first job at Elland Road. Picture: Andrew Varley.
Great Britain national Rugby League players in Sydney. Picture: Andrew Varley.