Disability Cup photographer picks out his favourite shots from the weekend

Alex Thomas shares his story and selects the images he believes best sum up the St George's Park event

Tuesday 02 Jul 2024
Birmingham miss out in the Partially Sighted final

A hugely successful FA Disability Cup took place at St George's Park over the weekend, with six teams lifting trophies across two days of football.

Capturing the best of the action was photographer Alex Thomas. An experienced snapper, Alex has suffered from two cancers in his life, one of which has resulted in permanent loss of vision in one eye. Having also been diagnosed with epilepsy in 2021, he has battled a considerable amount to become such an accomplished master of his craft.

After being selected as the official photographer for the Disability Cup, Alex has picked out 10 of his favourite images from the event.

He said: "The overall purpose I keep in mind on any football story is that I treat all players and clubs I'm shooting the same, as though they've all just won the World Cup and every player is the biggest superstar on the planet.

"I'm always looking for genuine intimate moments or images that tell the story best as a collective rather than a single image.

"The first shot is above. The Partially Sighted final was engrossing from minute one. The pace at which these players move, it's incredible to witness up close. Birmingham are disappointed after defeat."

Alex said: "This is Portsmouth celebrating a goal in their Amputee Cup Final win. These are the moments players dream of. This game was a fiery start to the weekend, the bar was set high."

Alex said: "My first experience of watching blind football and I've found new heroes. West Bromwich Albion were the eventual winners in a blistering final. This shot offers just a glimpse at the work rate put in, nothing left in the tank. I'm now obsessed with blind football."

Alex said: "Norwich City's Josh Wilde telling me everything's good in the Cerebral Palsy final. He was right. He even went on to score a screamer - what a show-off!"

Alex said: "Ouch! Proof that blood is often drawn in victory as Norwich win that final."

Alex said: "West Bromwich Albion fans left in agony at a missed chance in the Powerchair Final. They would go on to lift the trophy but what's football without these moments?" 

Alex said: "During the weekend, the experience area was open to anyone wishing to try out disability football, offering a taste of what the players in the finals experience. It is one thing to watch these top class players doing what they do, it's another to put yourself in their shoes."

Alex said: "The opening goal in the Deaf Final scored by St John's. I decided to camp myself in this corner with the hope of catching a very moment like this. I was in the right place at the right time. I got to vicariously celebrate this goal with them in the smallest way, their joy in those seconds will long stay with me." 

Alex said: "This is what it's all about after the final whistle. Celebrating with the cup, trophy selfies, on any stage across the world. Such passion from St John's."

Alex said: "St John's and England star Abdou Jobe being interviewed post-match. What a performance, what a player!"

By Adam Drury