HARTLEPOOL United player of the century Ritchie Humphreys is backing the Mail’s Pride of Hartlepool Awards.
He will be taking centre stage at the prestigious awards ceremony at Hartlepool College of Further Education at the end of March.
The popular footballer, who is celebrating his testimonial year having joined Pools in 2001, will be at the town centre college to meet those unsung heroes who have been nominated for awards.
The Pride of Hartlepool Awards were launched to honour the achievements of people from all walks of life whose dedication to the town is exemplary.
They can also be ambassadors for the town or people who have put Hartlepool on the map with their extraordinary achievements.
There are 12 categories in the awards with trophies and a £50 cash prize for each winner.
From sporting heroes to eco-champions and brave youngsters to dedicated community stalwarts, there are categories for everyone.
Ritchie, who joined from Sheffield Wednesday a decade ago has a fantastic bond with Hartlepool, the football club, fans and public alike.
The 33-year-old club captain, who is now also part of the club’s coaching system, told the Mail he was honoured to have been invited along to meet those who have gone the extra mile to improve their own and other people’s lives.
Despite having a hectic schedule in what is a landmark year for him he told the Mail how he enjoys meeting local people and sharing in their success.
He said: “It’s a privilege to be invited along.
“I have a spent a lot of time in the town and my relationship with the fans and public has always been fantastic.
“People in Hartlepool have a lot to be proud of and it’s great to be involved in an initiative that helps them celebrate remarkable achievements.
“It is extra special with it being my testimonial year which is obviously a landmark time for me.
“Sharing this with everyone at the awards evening will be such a special occasion. It is great to be part of what will be a superb evening of celebration.”
Time is running out for people to nominate community champions who deserve public recognition.
Nomination forms can be filled in online at www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk by following the links.
Anyone wanting more information about the initiative should contact Paul Watson on (01429 239361) or email email@example.com
The deadline for nominations is this Friday and the presentation ceremony will be held at Hartlepool College of Further Education on Thursday, March 24, from 6pm.