Charlie is our Local Hero

The Northern Echo: Charlie Donaghy - Local Heroes overall winner 2013 Charlie Donaghy - Local Heroes overall winner 2013

EVERGREEN Charlie Donaghy was last night crowned the Local Hero of 2013 for his lifelong commitment to grassroots sport in the North-East.

Charlie, 77, of Tow Law, County Durham, was the overall winner at the end of The Northern Echo's glittering celebration of grassroots sport.

The judges could not resist the story of how Charlie had kept a number of leagues operating by working round-the-clock as a fixture secretary, results organiser, administrator, press officer and committee organiser.

His dedication covers a range of sports, including snooker, darts, pool, dominoes, quoits and bowls.

He once even carried on working from his hospital bed after falling ill.

Charlie was presented with his overall award by Jimmy Montgomery, goalkeeper for the Sunderland team which won the FA Cup 40 years ago this year.

The Sunderland legend was among a number of sporting VIPs who turned out to honour the stars of amateur sport.

Other star guests included former England, Manchester United and Middlesbrough defender Gary Pallister, along with Hartlepool manager Colin Cooper and his assistant Craig Hignett.

Other sporting heroes honoured on the night included Durham Cricket Club's head coach Geoff Cook, who guided the club to its third county championship this year.

The star of TV's Dragon's Den, Duncan Bannatyne, was also there.

The event, compered by The Northern Echo's editor Peter Barron and chief sports writer Scott Wilson, raised £10,000 for grassroots sport, thanks to a partnership between The Northern Echo, County Durham Community Foundation and the Future Sport charity.

A total of £5,000 will be given out in individual grants to youngsters striving to develop their sporting talents.

And £5,000 was presented to Sedgefield Harriers to go towards their campaign to build an athletics track.



* Videos by Ben Hardy and Michael Thurloway from Darlington College




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