On Friday evening, MFA Sports Photographer Paul Zammit Cutajar was in his usual mode, his mind and lenses focused to capture the best shots of Paul Fenech after the Birkirkara and Malta midfielder won the prestigious MFA Footballer of the Year award at the 2013 MFA Awards, held at the MFCC.
One day later, it was Paul Zammit Cutajar who walked up to the stage to collect an award after being named Sports Photographer of the Year and Travel Journalist of the Year, at the 2013 Malta Journalism Awards.
Winning the coveted Sports Photographer of the Year for the first time in his career brought great satisfaction to Paul Zammit Cutajar.
“I am very proud to be ranked among the best sports photographers in Malta, in particular, the other two finalists, Times of Malta photographers, Darrin Zammit Lupi and Matthew Mirabelli, whose work I really admire,” he said.
“I’m also grateful to my colleague photographers who I meet, week in, week out at the various stadia. Ray, Martin, Runza, Trevor and others, you know who you are. We are ‘family’ and are great mates.”
“Zigli, thank you so much for your sharp eye and expert advice”.
You will often spot Paul in his preferred corner at the National Stadium and other grounds covering both domestic and international events.
Paul has been travelling with the MFA national squads since 2007 and hasn’t missed a competitive match since, testament to his dedication and passion for Maltese football.
“I eagerly look forward to every match of the senior team, especially away games,” Paul said. “I am well-acquainted with the players and technical staff. I have seen players come and go. I share the emotions, the 110% effort, the agony of defeat, the elation of victory and, of course, the banter.”
“The recent win in Armenia was priceless and will remain in my memory. We hope for more.”
Paul Zammit Cutajar has practised various sports throughout a span of 33 years, hanging up his gloves at the age of 40.
“Dare I say, I have football in my blood,” he remarked with a smile. “I believe that playing and watching sports has helped me immensely with my photography.”
Besides football, Paul also regularly covers swimming, waterpolo, basketball, polo, Olympic disciplines, tennis, rugby, golf and motorsports.
A few years back, Paul flew from New Zealand and back to cover Malta’s football match away to Latvia, such is his commitment to sports.
“I cannot but mention the Maltese Olympic Committee for their trust in me to cover the magnificent Olympic Games in London and the recent GSSE in Luxembourg,” Paul said. “I thank you, gentlemen, I am indebted.”
“Last but definitely not least, my sincere thanks and congratulations goes out to the Times of Malta, and in particular to my good friend and colleague, journalist Kevin Azzopardi who claimed the Sport Journalism Award.”
Over the past four years, Paul has covered the following international sporting events, among others:
1 FIFA World Cup
1 FIFA Club World Cup Final
3 UEFA Men’s Champions League Finals
1 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final
1 UEFA Europa League Final
1 UEFA U17s Finals
1 Olympic Games
1 Youth Olympic Games
1 GSSE Games
3 World Swimming Championships
1 Rugby World Cup
“Sport photographers in Malta strive to deliver stunning pictures for the enjoyment of the viewers,” Paul said.
“In the end, we are all winners.”
Paul has also captured the Travel Journalism Award, his third in four years.