AN inspired father-of-two who championed his county has been rewarded with a prestigious accolade.

Tom Riordan, 49, who was born in Northallerton and has lived there most of his life, scooped the Yorkshire Man of the Year award.

The Oxford graduate set up regional development agency Yorkshire Forward and became the youngest chief executive in the history of Leeds City Council.

As a youngster he spent time in foster care as his mother had Bipolar disorder and his father was an alcoholic who suffered from depression.

Keith Madeley, of the Yorkshire Society, who sponsored the Yorkshire Man of the Year award, said: “He’s a Northallerton lad and what a great advert he is for the town.”

Mr Riordan’s recent accolades include winning the Local Authority of the Year title and becoming chair of the UK Core Cities Chief Executives Group.

He said: “I still play Sunday league football and dominoes so I fit the Yorkshire stereotype very well.”