Peterlee’s Bob Anderson receives British Empire Medal for his services to sport

A popular Peterlee man who has dedicated his time to helping others and encouraging people to get involved with sport has received an British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 07 June, 2019, 21:30
Bob Anderson with his Olympic Torch. Picture By FRANK REID

Bob Anderson, who carried the Olympic torch through Peterlee in 2012, received a British Empire Medal for voluntary service to sport.

Since 1984, he has run the Peterlee Martial Arts Club, during which time he has trained thousands of people from the age of five up to 75 and several generations of families.

Jane Reynolds

Four years later, he set up the Peterlee Celtic Football Club which developed into a senior team and joined the Peterlee and District Sunday League.

If short of players, he will often step in himself to the amazement of both his own team and that of their opponents – he was still playing at the age of 69 against players 50 years his junior.

Bob, 70, said: “I’m a bit embarrassed. I know so many people that do such amazing work that I feel deserve it more.

“It’s lovely and I feel really humbled but it’s for doing something I love doing.

“I didn’t think much of it when I found out I was nominated so it was a shock when I was told I would receive a BEM.

“I carried the Olympic torch in 2012. The day I found out that I was going to do it was the day my dad died. It was around March time, when I found out about this honour it wasn’t long after my mam had sadly passed away.

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“I just think she would have been so proud of me.”

He is also on the Peterlee and District Sunday League’s Committee and held the position of secretary for many years.

He has tackled long-standing issues of discipline and a lack of referees and through his efforts saw that poor discipline was reduced by 90%.

Bob said: “I just want to encourage people never to give up. When I was at school my PE teacher told me I would never make it in sport. I wish he could see me now.”

Among others in the area to receive an honours is Jane Reynolds who has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to industry and the North-East economy in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019.

The Queen’s Honour acknowledges the outstanding achievement of individuals across the UK and Commonwealth and Jane has been recognised for both her leadership as the voluntary chair of the Tees Valley Business Club (TVBC) and her years of business development for investment funding across the North East, most recently with Northstar Ventures Ltd (NSV).

Originally from Lancashire, Jane settled in the area after a career that took her from London, to the US and The Netherlands. She immediately saw the potential of what she describes as a resilient, innovative but undervalued region.

“I am excited to be awarded an MBE on behalf of the Tees Valley Business Club, its members and Northstar Ventures.

“This is a wonderful region, with wonderful people doing extraordinary things. To be recognised in this way is a privilege which I hope to use as an ongoing platform to support the place that makes me feel so proud”.