Jim Hutchison , '”Have a heart, Ref”, Manchester United v Nottingham Forest, 18th  January 1986, Daily Mail, by Jim Hutchison

 By Alan Sparrow

It’s always a celebration when we can appreciate the life work of a newspaperman, a photographer who put the hours in and was rewarded with a catalogue of work that was not only a joy to him but is now a joy to those around him. 

The work of Jim Hutchison, 85 and living in sheltered housing in Carcassonne in France, is now on show there supported by the local tourist authority and town officials in his adopted hometown.   

His daughter, Patricia Hutchison, former picture editor for the Mail on Sunday and picture editor for the Scotsman from 1988 to 1992, thought it would be nice to have some of his work printed and displayed around the home where he now lives, a gentle nudge to the memory of his long career. 

The idea was popular not only with the people who cared for Jim but also for Carcassonne Town Council who decided to celebrate his work with a 60-picture exhibition that runs until the end of November.  

Jim was born in Scotland in 1938 and at 15 joined his local newspaper, the Hamilton Advertiser. His interest in photography was boosted by the early gift of a Box Brownie, the catalyst for many a photographer, bought for him by his father. 

His father was the secretary for the local football team, Stonehouse Violets FC, and not only was he keen to get Jim involved in football, but he was keen for him to photograph the football. 

A job with the local paper followed where he worked until he was called up for National Service and was sent to Malaya for the conflict there known as the Malayan Emergency which lasted from 1948 to 1960. 

Jim enjoyed his National Service.  It gave him a chance to travel and practice his photography, and the army wisely added him to the its photography unit. 

After this tour of duty he was back to the Hamilton Advertiser, but now his appetite had been whetted and Jim sought the challenges further afield, and after a stint working at weekends for the Daily Mail he got a staff position and moved to the Daily Mail in Glasgow, until it closed in 1971 and he was relocated to Manchester. 

His sporting photography was honed by the local lads in Hamilton and the work for the Hamilton Advertiser stood him in good stead when he realised that not only did he enjoy sports photography, he was pretty good at it. 

During the 38 years he worked for the Mail (1962 – 2000) he photographed many of the great names in sport, including Mohammed Ali, Sevy Ballesteros, and this picture. one of his favourites, of footballer Nigel Clough. 

The photo was taken during a Football League game of the 1985-86 season at Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground, against Nottingham Forest, on January 18th, 1986. It won Jim the Kodak Sports Photographer of the Year Award. 

The Forest player is Nigel Clough who is on his knees pleading innocence with referee John Key. The falling snow adds to the atmosphere. 

Jim's work was not just sport ,and during his career he worked for extended periods in Northern Ireland covering The Troubles for the Daily Mail, and a twist in its twilight years led to him being involved in the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).

Jim's wife had been listening to BBC Radio 2 and was horrified by the treatment of captured bears in Greece, India, and Turkey, where they were tortured to encourage them to dance. Jim decided to offer his good offices to expose this cruelty and the Daily Mail decided to back it as a campaign to end it. 

It was so popular with readers that Jim's retirement date came and went as the editor, Paul Dacre, asked him to stay and continue the campaign to save the captive bears. 

"Jim's photography made such a difference to our campaign and helped illustrate the issue for bears used for entertainment” said the World Animal Protection (formerly WSPA) spokesperson. “Bear dancing no longer happens in Turkey now, and that is a result of World Animal Protection's campaigning and creators like Jim who captured the images and brought them to the world's attention." 

If you are down that way, the work of Jim Hutchison can be seen in the centre of Carcassonne until November 30th. 


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