Steve Copley, one of The Sun’s longestserving photographers, has died after a long illness.
Copley, who was 58, was the paper’s staff photographer in the Midlands before taking early retirement. He continued to work for The Sun as a freelance right up until his death.
Originally from Balsall Common in the West Midlands, Copley began his career at the Cassidy and Lee agency in Surrey.
From there he was appointed Midlands photographer for the Daily Mail from Birmingham in 1968.
Copley, who was considered one of the old school of Fleet Street photographers, joined The Sun a year later.
Among his colleagues at The Sun was reporter John Scott, and together they worked on many major stories, including the M1 plane crash in 1989 and the Lesley Whittle murder.
Scott recalls: “Steve was a larger than life character, was a great professional photographer and a very loyal friend. He was a marvellous portrait photographer, second to none. He loved his work and remained bright and sharp right up until his death.”
Sun royal photographer Arthur Edwards, who worked alongside Copley, said: “Steve was extremely caring about his fellow workers and was very much a team player. He was very highly regarded by most people and this is a great loss to our business.”
John Askill, The Sun’s East Midlands reporter, said. “Steve was a very big man in every way and was loved by everybody.
“Dogged by ill-health he was absolutely determined to keep at it.
He was not just a photographer; he was a journalist in every way and had a marvellous sense of what was good and what was not in a picture. He was special.”
Copley leaves a widow, Pam, children Phil and Victoria and three grandchildren.