“A unique talent”: Tributes to Gary Trotter, Mail On Sunday photographer who captured John Prescott playing croquet in a time when he should be running the country, are paid

Tributes have been made to Gary Trotter (Mail on Sunday photographer), who famously photographed John Prescott playing croquet on a lawn of his grace and favour mansion, when he was supposed the be running the country.

Gary, who died after a brief illness, was 65 years old. He was a fearless war photographer who worked in Afghanistan, the Balkans, and both Iraq wars. 

His biggest scoop came closer to home, however, in 2006, when Prime minister Tony Blair went abroad, leaving his deputy, Mr Prescott officially in charge.

Acting on a hunch, Gary trained his lens on Dorneywood, the Deputy PM’s country residence, and captured him and his aides playing croquet on a Thursday afternoon. 

No hard feelings: John Prescott agreed to pose with Gary, left, celebrating his scoop

No hard feelings: John Prescott agreed to pose with Gary, left, celebrating his scoop

Peter Wright, Editor of The Mail on Sunday at the time, said: ‘Gary’s unique talent was that, as well as being a superb war photographer, he cared about those he was photographing – and was as good at getting a great picture of a celebrity – or the Deputy PM playing croquet when he should have been at work.’

Such was Gary’s charm that Mr Prescott posed with him for a souvenir photograph.

Gary began as a cruise ship photographer. He progressed through his local newspaper, Slough Express to the Sunday Express and Mail on Sunday to the Daily Mail. He also managed his own photography agency.

He is survived his wife Liz, son Luke, and grandsons Leon & Ashton.

Front-page news: Gary Trotter had a hunch that a visit to Dorneywood would yield an exclusive

Front-page news – Gary Trotter had an inkling that a Dorneywood visit would yield an exclusive