Posted: November 6th, 2023
PHIL SMITH, former chief photographer on The Sporting Life, died on November 5  at his home in Bedford, following a period of ill-health. He was 67.
His funeral will be at 11.30am on Thursday, November 30, at the Fenland Crematorium, Knights End Road, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 0YJ, followed by a gathering at at the Oliver Cromwell Hotel, High Street, March PE15 9LB.
Paul Duffett writes: “Phil was a hard-working and dedicated professional. He always maintained high standards in his work, and was a really nice bloke. He suffered with his back, but I never heard him complain about that.
“He was a familiar face in the office before the digital photography era, travelling back by train from racecourses all over the country to get his films developed.
“Originally from Streatham in south London, he eventually bought a place in Boulogne where he lived for ten years. Still working as a horseracing photographer despite health issues, he decided to return to the UK after Covid restrictions were lifted. His close friend and co-photographer, Dan Abraham, found a flat for Phil in Bedford, where he lived close to his beloved Wimbledon FC. He was the team photographer, even after the club’s move to Milton Keynes.
“Phil had been back on the British horseracing scene since then, as always using public transport, or blagging lifts as he never held a driving licence.
“He is survived by two brothers, a sister, and his mother. R I P Phil.”