Ken Coton

billp

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Ken Coton is another name synonymous with Fulham Football Club in the modern age. Ken, a life-long fan, was Fulham’s Official Club Photographer for more years than he may care to admit, and in this role captured the majority of the best images of Fulham from the sixties to the new millennium. Although his archive contains a wealth of behind-the-scenes material, Ken’s strength was in capturing the key action which, naturally, involved brilliant snapshots of goals being scored way before the days of wall-to-wall TV coverage and videos/dvds.

Ken, a very modest and warm individual, wouldn’t say so himself, but his evocative images stand out as some of the most memorable images portraying our national game. And they capture our club, of course! Take some time to check out the ace lensman’s work and you will be amazed at his ability to grab the atmosphere of a fraction of a second frozen forever. The goalmouth snapshots are virtually impossible to capture now due to restrictions imposed for safety (and so as not to offend sponsors by obstructing the view of advertising hoardings, etc!) despite the incredible advance in camera technology with digital SLRs using wireless transmission.

Remember, a roll of 35mm film allowed at best 36 exposures unless an unwieldy, heavy and hyper-expensive bulk film-loader and motor drive was fitted. Having had the privilege of sitting next to Ken at places such as Scarborough and Doncaster, I can confirm that his ability to capture the key moments via a dinky little camera is extraordinary!

None of these shots could be checked until exposed in a dark room. Furthermore, light metering was often a primitive average through the lens affair. Pros like Ken were able to use their experience and judgement to tell the camera what to do –  unlike modern electronic digital equipment which is prone to take the upper hand and more often than not, produce an unworthy result. But hey, this is straying into high-tech territory best left to the experts. Right, Ken?

If you love football imagery, invest in a copy of Fulham Photos, there is nothing else like it in the publishing world.

Now, about that classy image I wanted to use in TOOFIF...















 

Ken chews the fat with David Lloyd.




The master lensman checks his settings.



This book contains some of the best Fulham images anywhere, courtesy of our Ken.



Ken and Les Strong enjoy an orange juice.




Ken’s exhibition at the Riverside 2003, note slaphead TOOFIF presence in the foreground chatting to one of the organisers from the Barnes Framing Company, Honk meanwhile awaits  to the right  for billp’s arrival at the bar to stand his round…slim hope!





Bill buys his Bobby Moore original, nervous laugh disguises angst felt at how to break the news to the missus!




Said picture, how could  she not love that?




 

Two Fulham Legends.