DERRY RESPONDS ON PHOTOGRAPHER ROW
FREELANCE photographer Dan Westwell is at the centre of more controversy with Mansfield Town Football Club.
Mr Westwell, banned from the Stags earlier this year for displaying a 'Haslam Out' protest photograph on his laptop, was initially refused admission to Field Mill again at the weekend — and prevented from supplying his photographs for use on websites.
The photographer, who thought his differences with the club had been resolved after he was allowed back into the ground in February by new chairman James Derry, was confronted by stewards before the game against Boston.
He was told that he would not be allowed into Field Mill unless he agreed not to take photographs of stewards, security people and club officials.
“I was accused of putting photographs of stewards on my website,” he said.
“I told them they were wrong and that my own website is not even up-to-date. But in the end I had to agree to their demands just to get into the ground to do my job.
“I was watched closely by the stewards throughout the match and felt intimidated. I was told that if any of my photographs appeared on a website I would be banned again.
“I am just trying to do my job — a lot of people look forward to seeing action shots on websites.”
But Mr Derry says he had instructed the club's head of security John Sidney to ask Mr Westwell to concentrate on photographing the match rather than the security staff, following reports the photographer had been deliberately trying to provoke the stewards by taking photographs of them.
“It's not helpful for Mr Westwell to be acting in a provocative way with the stewards — they want to concentrate on doing their job and couldn't see the purpose in him taking photos of them,” he said.
“It's disappointing that having let him come back in and quite frankly having supported him in his case against the police, that he should continue to fuel the fire and act in this way.”
The freelance photographer was originally banned from Field Mill after being ejected during the match against Walsall for showing a photograph on his laptop of a protest road sign saying 'Haslam Out'.
Mr Westwell said yesterday: "I am a photojournalist. If there are things that could potentially be newsworthy, then I take photographs of it. If the stewards are acting within the law, why are they so worried about having their photograph taken?"
- Late on Tuesday afternoon Mr Westwell was informed that he could supply websites with action shots of Stags' games.
- Mr Westwell will appear before Mansfield magistrates on Monday charged with a public order offence at Field Mill, in connection with the incident which originally led to him being banned from Stags' home games in January.
Latest | March 2007