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Tributes paid to David Simpson

PUBLISHED: 14:01 18 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:01 18 September 2020

Former Dagenham & Redbridge club photographer and press secretary David Simpson (pics DiggerDagger.com)

Former Dagenham & Redbridge club photographer and press secretary David Simpson (pics DiggerDagger.com)

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Tributes have been paid to former Dagenham & Redbridge club photographer and press secretary David Simpson, who has passed away aged 53.

Simpson served the club for many seasons and was behind the lens for some of the biggest moments in club history, including their League Two play-off final win over Rotherham United at Wembley in May 2010.

He captured thousands of iconic images over many campaigns for TGS Photo, a sports photographic agency set up by fellow photographer and friend Gavin Ellis.

And Ellis led the tributes, saying: “I learned this morning the tragic news of the passing of my friend Dave Simpson.

“Dave was simply one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. Ever helpful and hugely generous with his time, his twin passions were football and photography.

“Dave was one of the first contributors to TGS Photo way back in the early 2000s when he was Dagenham & Redbridge’s club photographer. Since then, his superb photographs have been published in innumerable publications both locally, nationally and indeed globally.

“Dave captured some of the Daggers’ finest moments, including the famous play-off Final victory over Rotherham in 2010 that propelled the club into League One.

“He was ubiquitous on the local football scene. Dave started out watching his beloved Walthamstow Avenue before the Green Pond Road club’s eventual mergers with Leytonstone, Ilford and Dagenham, making so many friends along the way. I know that they will be all be deeply touched by his loss.

“Dave also travelled all over the world watching England. During lockdown we stayed in touch with numerous Zoom calls and Dave frequently recounted the fascinating tales of his travels following the national team.

“He also entertained us with the amazing memorabilia that he had collected over the years! Those video chats often went long into the night and provided huge relief during those long days of self-isolation.

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“Dave’s passing will leave a hole in the football and photographic community that will never, ever be filled. He has been taken from us far too soon. RIP Dave. My sincere and deepest sympathies to all of his friends and family.”

Former West Ham United club photographer Steve Bacon posted: “Sad news ... Dave Simpson, the long time Dagenham FC club photographer, passed away on Wednesday.

“Quite well known on the football scene, he was always so helpful to us press guys. RIP Dave.”

Former Barking & Dagenham Post sports reporters Ned Keating, Colin Munford and Iain Liddle also paid tribute to Simpson.

Keating, now working as a video journalist for Mirror Sport, posted: “Shocked and saddened to hear of this devastating news. Simmo was a huge help during my time covering the club. Thoughts with his family and friends at this time.”

Munford, who worked as press officer for rival club Leyton Orient after leaving the Post, added: “So so sad hearing this news. Was always a massive help to all who covered Daggers for the @BDPost. A thoroughly top guy who will be greatly missed. Thoughts with his family at this sad time.”

And Liddle, who moved on to a role in Charlton Athletic’s press office, said: “Horrible news. Dave was always very generous with his time and knowledge. An unsung hero of the lower-league/non-league football scene.”

Jacob Ranson, current sports reporter at the Post, posted: “Gutted to hear this news! Dave was always brilliant when I was covering Dagenham, non-league football, and Tottenham Hotspur.”

Former sports editor Trevor Davies posted: “That’s awful news, had a lot of time for Dave. Always helpful, was one of the good guys.”

Fellow photographer Martin Dalton said: “I’ve lost a good friend who I will miss so much. One of life’s good guys taken too soon!”

And Simon Newell posted: “Worked in the Daggers press team for 12 years with Dave such a lovely person and so many memories with him RIP Dave.”

Ben Campbell, head of communications at West Ham United, said: “Very sad news. Met Dave a number of times over the years and a great guy.”


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