THE inspirational stories and extraordinary achievements from the world of grassroots sport in the region will be relived tonight in a star-studded annual event.

The Northern Echo’s Local Heroes Awards 2017 are set to honour dozens of nominees shortlisted by a panel of judges for their remarkable talent, triumphs and overcoming tribulations.

Now in its 18th year, the ceremony celebrates individual athletes, clubs and teams all based in the North-East and North Yorkshire.

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The categories celebrate the achievements of both adults and juniors in Sporting Excellence, Unsung Hero, Remarkable Achievements, Most Promising New Talent, Sir Bobby Robson Leading Light, Club or Team of the Year and Outstanding Performance.

Peter Barron, former editor of The Northern Echo and Local Heroes Awards founder, will act as compere for tonight’s event staged in the Grand Marquee at Wynyard Hall, near Billingham.

After being part of the panel selecting this year’s shortlist, Mr Barron said: “I can’t get my head round the fact this is the 18th year of these very special awards.

“You’ll hear about some amazing achievements, incredible dedication, and – as always – there will be some real tearjerkers.

“One of the lovely things about these awards is the way sporting celebrities turn out to pay tribute to the stars of grassroots sport and tonight is no exception.”

Tonight’s guests include retired track and field athlete, Local Heroes supporter and the voice of athletics for the BBC, Steve Cram CBE.

He will be joined by fellow commentator and former Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Allison Curbishley.

The world’s number one ranked trampolinist, Kat Driscoll, will attend the event, alongside Middlesbrough Football Club goalkeeper, Dimi Konstantopolous.

One of the most prolific goalscorers of his generation, former Newcastle, Sunderland, West Ham, and Chelsea striker, Bryan Pop Robson, is also expected at the awards ceremony.

  • A live blog from the Local Heroes Awards will run online tonight at www.thenorthernecho.co.uk with a full round-up of all the winners and inspirational stories from the evening in tomorrow’s paper.
  • A full souvenir supplement will also be available with Saturday’s edition of The Northern Echo.