Stalwart of South Shields FC and vice-chairman Richard Bailey has seen his efforts recognised by winning an award – 2017’s BBC North East and Cumbria’s Unsung Sporting Hero.

A fan since 1945, he saw his service honoured by the club in 2015 after 70 years of loyally following the Mariners. In the fixture between South Shields and Ryhope CW, he was presented with a bottle by the vice-chairmen and given a guard of honour from both teams (above).

Now, he’s received wider recognition, being named the BBC’s “unsung hero” across the whole of the North East and Cumbria. He may even win a national accolade, as the award means he’s been nominated for the national unsung hero award. He will find out if he has won the award at the BBC’s Sports Personality Of The Year Awards.

Bailey, 84, has gone from supporter to committee member and now occupies the role of vice-president of the club. He is still a regular attendee of matches down at Mariners Park.

The Sports Personality Of The Year Awards ceremony is taking place in Liverpool on Sunday, December 17th.