Derbyshire Dales sporting hero bounces back

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Sporting hero John Thompson was in a hospital bed when told last autumn that he had won a top Derbyshire Dales award.

Happily, John is now very much back on his feet and continuing half a century’s work in sport in the Dales, particular at Wirksworth and Middleton Cricket Club.

John won the Unsung Hero category at last year’s Derbyshire Dales District Council Sports Awards, and went on to also pick up the county award.

Said John: “I was recovering in hospital last October so didn’t get the opportunity to receive my Derbyshire Dales Unsung Hero award in person. However, it was a great thrill to go on to receive the Derbyshire Unsung Hero award at the Roundhouse in Derby.

“My message now to other clubs and organisations in the Derbyshire Dales is that winners at a district level can succeed at the county sports awards.

“Every local sports club relies on volunteers and down the years I have been helped by so many people to bring success to Wirksworth and Middleton Cricket Club. I don’t regard myself as special and indeed I hope the club will nominate other worthy people for the Unsung Hero award this time around.”

Nominations are open now in 12 categories - and it’s easier than ever to put forward someone who is making a difference in a Dales community thanks to an online form at www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk/sportsawards. Paper forms can also be requested by telephoning the District Council’s Sports Development Team on 01629 761225.

The District Council is especially keen to hear about disabled performers who have achieved success in their sport at a local level or beyond in the past year.

Chairman of the District Council’s Communities Committee, Councillor Jennifer Bower said: “We know from listening to local people how important healthy lifestyles are to our communities, and these awards are our way of recognising and celebrating the achievements of local athletes and those involved in sport at all levels.

“We are happy to receive nominations about people who live in the Derbyshire Dales, compete in the district or attend clubs or schools here. We welcome nominations from all walks of life, sports clubs, parish councils, schools, leagues, coaches, parents and from athletes themselves.”

Closing date for nominations is Monday 10 September (?) and the District Council is planning a presentation at Matlock Town Football Club for the winners and runners-up in October.