Big-hearted bosses at Hartlepool United have revealed plans for a special day to salute the Best of Hartlepool Awards winners.
On a night to remember - when some of the town’s most amazing people stepped up to collect trophies - Pools chiefs made it even more special.
Four of the football club’s most senior figures were at the Hartlepool Mail-organised awards, chief executive Mark Maguire, owner and chairman Raj Singh, club director Ian Scobbie and club president Jeff Stelling.
They took to the stage to accept the Outstanding Contribution Award, presented by the Mail, to everyone from fundraisers to management and campaigners who had been involved in the fight to save Hartlepool United.
But they were so humbled by the achievements of all the other winners that they invited them all to be come along and be special guests at a Pools match.
It was the perfect crowning moment to an evening where everyone from courageous children to outstanding fundraisers picked up honours.
We want them to join us. We will present them to the crowd and present the true heroesMark Maguire
A night when life-saving local heroes, world champion dancers, and community stalwarts were honoured.
Chief executive Mike Maguire said: “We were humbled watching all the award winners. There is some incredible talent.
“We are inviting them all to a game.
“We want them to join us. We will present them to the crowd and present the true heroes.
“Some of their stories were inspirational.”
To reward them, they will spend a day at Pools where they will get to see the team in action and be announced as award winners to the crowd.
“We’ll look after them,” said Mark.
Hartlepool Mail editorial director Joy Yates earlier told the awards night audience - at the Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield: “The quality and quantity of the entries we got was outstanding.
“Everyone nominated should consider themselves a winner for getting this far.”
Winners on the night included four amazing Children of Courage. They were:
l Four-year-old Dottie O’Keefe, from Rossmere, has cerebral palsy, but has made amazing progress towards her dream of walking;
l Twelve-year-old Neisha Webb, from West View Road, Hartlepool, who was born with part of one leg missing, but has become a talented cheerleader against the odds;
l Eight-year-old Alex Grant, from Greatham, who has an ear condition called microtia that renders him completely deaf on one side and is hoping to undergo surgery abroad to restore his hearing;
l And two-year-old Daisy Sayers, from Peterlee, who is undergoing treatment for cancer acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
They all got standing ovations at the finals night.
Lifetime Contribution Award winner Calvyn Whitehand was honoured for the way he has changed the lives of hundreds of rookie sailors as the skipper of the Hartlepool-based tall ship Black Diamond of Durham.
Emergency Services Award winners Jason Pool, Lisa Jones, Kelly Percival and Lyndsey Hepburn helped to save a man’s life after he was stabbed following a robbery.
And the Special Award was also posthumously awarded to hospital campaigner Keith Fisher for his dedication to the town.
Other award winners included:
* Throston Primary School who won the Green Champion award;
* Child of Achievement winner Lewin Tubuna;
* Fundraisers of the Year Stephen Shearer, Kev Robson, Graham Dale, Nigel Carr, Sean Allison, Russ Welsh,
* Student of the Year Niamh Hogan;
* Sporting Excellence winner Savannah Marshall;
* Volunteer of the Year Charlie Coomer,
* Community Group winners were the Heugh Gun Battery Museum,
* This year’s Community Champion was Jennifer Kerridge,
* Sports Team of the Year was the Hartlepool Hawks Cheerleading Academy,
* And Carer of the Year was Michelle Banks.
Thanks also go to all of our sponsors for making the awards happen.
They are Stagecoach North East; Tilly Bailey & Irvine; The Northern School of Arts; Hart Biologicals; Joel D. Kerr Funeral Services; Utility Alliance Ltd and Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group.
* Watch out for interviews and more photographs from the night in a supplement in the Hartlepool Mail on Wednesday, November 28.