Stars come out for city’s big night

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The sporting community of the city gathered to honour Sir Tom Finney at the Preston Sports Award.

The event opened with a video memorial to Sir Tom – who died last month – the awards’ first ever lifetime achievement winner.

Olympic sprint relay gold medallist Jason Gardner gave an inspirational speech to the crowd gathered at the Guild Hall. He was a winner at the 2004 Athens Games.

The evening ended with a special award to David Simpson, a retired teacher, who was recognised for his dedication to developing grassroots sport in Preston.

Richard Ellis, Preston Grasshoppers RUFC’s general manager, was delighted that the club won the community organisation of the year title.

He said: “It was great evening, well organised by Preston Sports Forum and PCC.

“It was a nice tribute to Sir Tom. He meant so much to the people of Preston – everyone was moved and stood for a standing ovation.”

Larches and Savick boxing club bagged the club of the year title and senior coach Joe Kilshaw – who helped set up the club in 2002 – was shocked by the accolade.

He said: “We’ve had a great year, three of our boxers are in the GB squad and it’s just been a whirlwind – we are that busy we were shocked to receive the award.”


Coach of the year (aged 16 years plus) Sponsor, BMW Bowker – Chris Hills (Springfields Hockey Club)

Club of the year, Sponsor – Surridge Larches and Savick Boxing Academy

Volunteer of the year (Adult – aged over 25 years), Sponsor – FWP Architecture – Kevin Parker (Preston Swimming Club)

Volunteer of the year (Young – aged up to 24 years) Sponsor – Lancashire County Council Public Health – Nicole Gardner (Preston Netball Club)

Rising star, Sponsor - Millers Taxis (in memory of Sam McCulloch) – Sam Miler (Preston Harriers)

Achievement/Performance of the year (male junior), Sponsor – Walker Smith Way Solicitors – Edward Jeans (Preston Harriers)

Achievement/Performance of the year (female junior), Sponsor – Preston’s College – Isabella Raven (City of Preston Gymnastics Club)

Achievement/Performance of the year (senior), Sponsor – – Joint Winners Stephanie Slater (Preston Swimming Club) and Graeme Thomas (Sale Rowing Club)

Service to disability sport, Sponsor – Ambulant Physiotherapy Ltd – Colin Robson (Preston City Trampoline Club)

Team performance of the year (junior team), Sponsor – UCLan - City of Preston Gymnastics Boys Squad

Team performance of the year (senior team), Sponsor – Skiddle – Preston Swimming Club Arena Team

School team of the year (primary), Sponsor – GB Energy – Broughton CE Primary School

School team of the year (secondary), Sponsor – Wallwork, Nelson & Johnson – Corpus Christi Catholic High School

Community organisation of the year, Sponsor – Jigsaw Training – Preston Grasshoppers RFC

Higher/Further education team of the year, Sponsor – McDade Roberts – UCLan Golf

Special recognition/service to sport, Sponsor – Preston City Council (in honour of Councillor Tom Burns) – John Powell (Preston Grasshoppers)

Lifetime achievement (aged 30 years plus), Sponsor – John Turner Construction Group – David Simpson (Preston Schools and Scouts)