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'A unique talent': Tributes are paid to Mail On Sunday photographer Gary Trotter

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

Gary, who has died aged 65 following a short illness, was a fearless war photographer who had undertaken assignments in the Balkans, both Iraq wars and Afghanistan. 

But he landed his biggest scoop closer to home in 2006 when Prime Minister Tony Blair had gone 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

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 started out as a cruise liner photographer and progressed via his local newspaper, the Slough Express, to the Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail. He also ran his own photographic agency.

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

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