Photographer who captured Henderson's winning goal dead at 79

The photographer who captured the most joyous moment in the 1972 Canada-Soviet hockey series, Paul Henderson's winning goal, has died.

The photographer who captured the most joyous moment in the 1972 Canada-Soviet hockey series — Paul Henderson's winning goal — has died.

Frank Lennon, 79, died in a Toronto hospital Monday morning.

Lennon had a career spanning 47 years at the Toronto Star and took thousands of photos.

But he was always known for the iconic photo of Henderson with his arms raised in the air,embraced byteammate Yvon Cournoyer, and with Russian goalie Vladislav Tretiak sprawled in defeat behind them.

The picture has been reproduced in countless books, hockey cards, posters, a Royal Canadian Mint coin and a postage stamp.

It earned Lennon a National Newspaper Award and Canadian Press Picture of the Year award.

Lennon enjoyed telling the story of how he happened to be in the right place to photograph the winning goal.

He said he was positioned high above the rink to cover the last game in the hockey summit series, being played in Moscow.

As the clock ticked down in a tied game, he bet on Canada scoring a winning goal and knew a picture of that hoped-for event would be best taken from ice level.

During a brief pause in the action, Lennon ran downstairs to position himself directly opposite the Soviet goal. Paul Henderson did the rest.

"Everybody around him jumped up and [Lennon] would [later] say to me that he was amazed he had the presence of mind to keep shooting," Henderson recalled.

"Everything within him wanted to jump up and shout."

Lennon was one of the first staff photographers ever hired by the Star and stayed in the job until 1990.

He applied his sense of timing during photography of crime, human interest, politics and many other subjects.

He shot personalities such as Chief Dan George, political firebrand Tommy Douglas and country star Stompin' Tom Connors.

He was assaulted by John Lennon in 1969, after following the former Beatle into the Toronto airport in an effort to get an photo.

But sports photography, especially hockey and football, was his passion.

At one point, Leafs owner Harold Ballard banned Lennon from Maple Leaf Gardens for taking a photo of his companion Yolanda.

For years he was a fixture in one "corner" of the Gardens, his son, Kevin, recalled.

Although he took dozens of memorable photos, it is the photo of Henderson's goal that still stands out.

Lennon was born in Toronto on Jan. 26, 1927,and followed his father, who worked in the mailroom, into a job at the Toronto Star. Hestarted asa newsroom messenger boy in 1944.

Lennon went on to work as darkroom technician and wire photo receiver. He decided to become a photographer while studying wire photos from UPS and Reuters.

One of his earliest tasks was to take the night bus from Toronto to Buffalo to bring back wire photos from the wire service offices in time for the afternoon edition of the Star.

He moonlighted taking pictures at weddings and birthday parties before being hired by the Star.

"He was one of the greats," former publisher John Honderich said, quoted by the Toronto Star. "He truly loved his craft."

Toronto Star colleagues remembered him as a prankster and wit and a dedicated family man.

Lennon was married for 57 years to his wife Helen, and the couple had seven children.

Lennon is survived by his wife Helen, children Judith, Kevin, Darcy, Martha, Anita, Daria and Andrea, his brother Bill, sisters Janet and Margaret and 13 grandchildren.