He’s the best thing to come out of Hartlepool and he’s got the award to prove it

Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling collects his trophy at the Hartlepool Business Awards from awards co-ordinator Andrew Steel.
Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling collects his trophy at the Hartlepool Business Awards from awards co-ordinator Andrew Steel.

Hartlepool’s finest ambassador has won his second title in just two weeks.

Jeff Stelling was stunned and delighted after winning the title of Hartlepool’s Greatest Export at the town’s business awards.

Jeff Stelling receives his Best of Hartlepool award from Joy Yates, Editorial Director of Johnston Press North East

Jeff Stelling receives his Best of Hartlepool award from Joy Yates, Editorial Director of Johnston Press North East

It comes a fortnight after he took the special recognition honour at the Mail’s Best of Hartlepool competition.

Both titles recognised the fantastic way he promotes Hartlepool to a worldwide audience, and the man himself told the Hartlepool Mail: “To get this in front of so many people who are so successful, in their own right, and who are so driven, it is extra special - especially in my home town.”

Afterwards he admitted he was “very surprised” to get a trophy, after attending the event to be the guest of honour and guest speaker.

But his night came to an end as an award winner, with the audience giving him rousing applause.

It feels fantastic and the great thing was, to receive it with such an ovation from people who are successful Hartlepudlians in their own right, so entrepreneurial. The fact that I got it in front of them. They were rooting for me and that makes it extra special

Jeff Stelling

He said: “I didn’t have a clue but I am very flattered. It feels fantastic and the great thing was, to receive it with such an ovation from people who are successful Hartlepudlians in their own right, so entrepreneurial. The fact that I got it in front of them. They were rooting for me and that makes it extra special.”

And the award came just minutes after Jeff had the audience in stitches with a speech all about his career.

It included passionate references to his beloved home town which he regularly promotes as the presenter of the Soccer Saturday programme on Sky Sports.

He described how he had visited famous football stadiums such as the San Siro, the Bernabeu and Pool’s own Victoria Park.

Business awards co-ordinator Andrew Steel earlier showed the audience wonderful footage of some of Jeff’s highlights on the Soccer Saturday programme he presents.

They included his dance whenever Pools player James Brown scored, and Jeff’s rant in support of all things good about Middlesbrough, the Tees Valley and particularly Hartlepool.

Andrew said: “This person does everything he can to put a positive picture on the town while making people smile - Hartlepool’s greatest export Jeff Stelling.”

Jeff was one of a number of winners on a night filled with highlights, including JDR Cables scooping the Hartlepool Business of the Year Award.

And make sure you get next Tuesday’s Mail for a supplement filled with interviews and photographs of all the winners.