HE MIGHT be registered as blind but this hasn’t stopped Dave Taylor from seeing life through a lens.
The 51-year-old has netted his dream role of becoming an official photographer for Portsmouth Football Club, despite only having 25 per cent vision in each eye.
It’s great Pompey was willing to look beyond my sight loss and see I can actually take some decent picturesPhotographer Dave Taylor
He relies upon the sound of the ball being kicked and the roar of the crowd to know where to aim his camera to get all the best shots.
Dave, of Northern Parade, Hilsea, was devastated when he had to give up his job in the security industry after a 34-year career but is delighted to have achieved his goal of working as a volunteer for his favourite football team.
The Royal National Institute of Blind People provided Dave with six weeks of emotional support when he finished his final shift as a security guard.
Having then attended the charity’s Finding Your Feet course – which helps people newly-diagnosed with sight loss – Dave saw his confidence grow.
Dave said: ‘I was at an all-time low when I started to lose my sight and couldn’t think of a way out of my situation.
‘I had always regarded myself as the main breadwinner and for that to be put at risk was awful.
‘I’m grateful for all the help I’ve received at RNIB because I’ve learnt my sight loss doesn’t have to be a barrier to achieving my dreams after all.’
Dave wrote an email to Pompey in February explaining his sight loss and desire to take photos of his beloved team.
Since then Dave has been busy photographing the occasional first-team game, as well as reserve, academy and ladies’ team fixtures.
Dave added: ‘When I found myself at pitch-side taking photographs at the club I have supported all my life I felt like a kid in a toy shop – it was so exciting for me.
‘It’s great Pompey was willing to look beyond my sight loss and see I can actually take some decent pictures.’
Colin Farmery, who manages Pompey’s inclusion and diversity policy, said: ‘When Dave approached us, it sounded such an inspirational story as a club we were delighted to give him his chance.
‘He has proved a valuable member of our Pompey press volunteer team of photographers and his pictures are very good.
‘We are striving to be as inclusive a community football club as we can be and Dave demonstrates disability need be no barrier.’