TWO champions of grassroots sport have been honoured for their decades of work.

Alan Watson, from Framwellgate Moor, and John O’Connor, from Shotley Bridge, have been awarded the Chairman’s Medal – Durham County Council’s highest honour.

Mr Watson, 67, has been involved with junior sports clubs for more than 35 years and helped set up the Association of Boys and Girls Clubs, a national youth work charity.

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Mr O’Connor, 58, has been a committee member of Consett rugby club since he was 17, investing in youth rugby and securing £500,000 for improvements at the club, and also created the Derwentside Youth Charitable Trust to fund sports development for young people.

Council chairman Cllr Edward Bell said: “Their contribution to grassroots sport has been long-running and far-reaching.

“Hundreds, if not thousands, of young people have been inspired by Alan’s passion and commitment to youth sport, while John’s legacy is clear for all to see, from new sports facilities to successful youth sports clubs.”