Rugby club stalwart Billy tries for an award

BILLY Lithgo who is in the running for a Hartlepool Mail sports award
BILLY Lithgo who is in the running for a Hartlepool Mail sports award

A RUGBY club stalwart is in the running for an award after showing fantastic dedication to the game.

Billy Lithgo, 55, has put 30 years into Seaton Carew Rugby Club as a player, manager, captain, junior coach, and senior coach.

He has even been known to be at the club’s ground at 5.30am to drain a pitch and have it ready for a night game later the same day.

Now Billy has been nominated in both the unsung hero and volunteer sections of the Hartlepool Mail Sports Awards by his brother Peter.

He said: “Billy is the heart of Seaton Carew Rugby Club.

“He built the junior section from nothing as well being head team coach, part-time janitor and groundsman. He even goes into schools to promote the game.

“He is one of the main people responsible for the development of the club.”

Peter added: “He is heavily involved in all of the club activities.”

Billy says he was surprised and delighted to be in the running for honours, and also explained why he is so committed to the cause.

He said: “I love sport in general. I love to go down to the club and see the boys and girls get to enjoy different sports.

“It gives me a great sense of achievement, especially when you see children of eight to ten who then develop into young adults who become good members of society.”

Modest Billy played down his role and said he was just “one in a number of people who help out”.

He added: “There are always people willing to give a helping hand but for people to do that, there has to be someone to lead them into doing it. You have to be prepared to do it yourself.”

The next stage of our competition will be for the judges to meet and put together a shortlist.

That will happen in the next few days. After that, the contenders will be invited to attend the finals night which will be held at the Hardwick Hall Hotel, Sedgefield, on October 22.

Our thanks go to everyone who has put forward names for the sports awards, and ensured that the standard of entries is incredibly high.

In the meantime, watch out for more stories on the people who are in the running for honours.