Cartoons after Southampton ban photographers from Argyle match
IT'S comic book stuff as Plymouth Argyle start the season with a win — but these images form part of The Herald's coverage after rivals Southampton banned photographers from the match.
The drawings, by city historian and Herald contributor Chris Robinson, were commissioned in response to Southampton Football Club's controversial decision to force newspapers to buy photos from a single accredited agency.
The Herald, along with many other media outlets, had refused to buy the "official" images from Southampton.
In the end, Plymouth Argyle stepped in to provide a solution to the stand-off by releasing their own images of their players in their 1-0 season-opening win at St Mary's.
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The Herald's editor, Bill Martin, said: "It's outrageous that a football club is blocking photographers from covering something which is of much interest and importance to many people.
"All credit to Argyle for putting the best interests of fans, their players and their sponsors first and publishing their own photographs."
Had that solution not been found, The Herald was ready with Chris's drawings.
Chris said: "It was an interesting escapade.
"I'm a bit rusty as far as that sort of thing is concerned, but I used to do a lot as a kid."
Chris said his style was inspired by comic strips such as Roy of the Rovers, and the result couldn't have been scripted better.
The lifelong Argyle fan said: "It was brilliant. After the struggle for points last season, it was great to start with an away win, especially against Southampton."
Rick Cowdery, Plymouth Argyle's head of communications, said: "We believe that the Green Army, our shirt sponsors Ginsters and our kit suppliers Adidas — not to mention our players — would have suffered as a result of Southampton's unpopular restrictions on Press photographers.
"On that basis, we decided to release pictures of our players during Saturday's wonderful triumph at St Mary's, taken by the club's official photographer Dave Rowntree, and put them into the public domain.
"Dave has been taking pictures of Argyle for The Herald for many years and we saw no justifiable reason why that should not continue this weekend.
"Had The Herald been forced by Southampton's ban to run their report of Saturday's victorious game without Dave's fine pictures of Luke Summerfield's winning goal and celebrations that followed, then we would have been letting our supporters down."