Paralympian, Photographer, Father, Friend....

British Wheelchair Basketball wish to express their sincere and unreserved condolences to Jess (29), Roger (26) at the loss of their father and to Toni at the loss of her partner.

Graham Bool passed away on Friday (17th September, 2010) of a heart attack at his home in Great Sailing.

Graham had polio when he was eighteen months old. As a child he wore metal callipers on his legs before learning to walk with a stick in his teens, but it was with a wheelchair that Bool found he could work with the greatest freedom. This freedom saw Graham compete as a member of the Great Britain Paralympic Team, participating in the Paralympic Games in 1972, 1976 and 1980.

Married to Frances, at the birth of their children Graham retired from playing Wheelchair Basketball at an international level to concentrate on his family. In 1987 Graham Bool Photography was formed and most people today will remember Graham as the photographer sitting at the end of the basketball court or athletics track capturing sport at its very best and more recently with Toni, his girlfriend at his side.

Tony Sainsbury, former Great Britain Team Manager paid tribute to Graham, "This is probably the one occasion when one can truly say the Paralympic Games and Paralympic major sport will never be the same again. The ever present telephoto lens was his trademark and he captured for the movement and the individuals concerned the great moments of Paralympic sport. He has left an enormous legacy and a vacuum which will be near impossible to fill."

These sentiments have been echoed by people throughout the sporting fraternity including Sir Philip Craven MBE and people from all over the world who have been paying tribute to Graham.

Malcolm Tarkenter, Chairman of British Wheelchair Basketball and close friend to Graham said, "Graham was like a brother to me, I remember when he first met Frances and our times at Lodge Moor where we both played basketball. Graham was a giant of a man in all respects, he had time for everybody. We played for GB together, trained together, drove around together, we had some great adventures.

"As a young player he took me under his wing and he was a big brother to me and our friendship lasted a lifetime. I can’t believe he is not here now."

Graham was the ultimate gentlemen, a private man, a principled man, a man who was so very proud of Jess and Roger. Graham was a man who was happy to give advice and has been tremendously supportive to players and young people coming in to sport as well as a sound council to Directors, Chairman and Chief Executives across a number of Paralympic Sports and Bodies.

On commenting about his own experiences Graham told Disability Now Magazine, "My most memorable recent job was Beijing. I’d been warned that the Chinese were unhelpful and would look at you and stare. I found the opposite. Everyone was just fantastic. Beijing was memorable, enjoyable and exhausting, but I’d go again."

Colleagues from the media have also paid tribute to this great man, and Soody Ahmad, a fellow photographer said, "This dear man was initially a competitor who became not only a colleague but a mentor."

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and close friends at this time. Graham, you will be greatly missed.

GRAHAM BOOL: CAREER PATH

1955-1963 – Hatchford Park Residential School for The Physically Handi-capped, Surrey

1963-64 – Archbishop Temples School, Lambeth Road, South London

1964-67 – Civil Service

1968 – Decca Navigator, Bought Ledger Dept

1968-69 – Dixons Cameras & Hi-fi – assist. manager

1969-77 – Agfa Gevaert, manager of photographic showroom in Piccadilly

1977-87 – Film, TV & Video with West End PR company

1983 – Began own business

1987 – September 2010 – Graham Bool Photography

To view Graham Bool’s photography, please visit www.grahamboolphotography.co.uk