AFL Media's chief photographer makes history to win Gold Quill

AFL MEDIA'S chief photographer Michael Willson has broken new ground, claiming the Melbourne Press Club's prestigious Gold Quill on Friday night.

Willson became the first ever photographer to receive the award in its 25-year history for his iconic shot of Tayla Harris' 'The Kick' in last year's NAB AFL Women's competition. 

Judges described the photo of the Carlton forward as "one for the ages" that "turned the tide of public commentary on women's football, women in sport generally, and attitudes to women across society". 

The Gold Quill is the highest award on offer at the annual Quill Awards. 

The photo, which also collected best sports photograph on Friday night, went viral worldwide, received attention on networks including CNN and BBC and was later immortalised as a statue after Harris fought back publicly to online trolls.

Quill judges went on to praise the photo that "inspired and fuelled a significant growth of young women joining up to play footy".

'The Kick' also received the top prize at the inaugural Women in Sport Photo Action Awards in May last year.