On the evening of 7th October, John Hartson led the tributes to the unsung heroes of North Wales at a glittering event held at the St George’s Hotel, Llandudno.
The former Arsenal and Celtic forward and Wales footballing legend was guest of honour at the Your Champions Awards. Now in their 19th year, and with the help of the ScottishPower Foundation and Trinity Mirror North Wales, the Awards celebrate the work of individuals, volunteers, young people and groups across the region.
The highlight of the evening, this year’s Champion of Champions Award was awarded to boxing coach Brian Williams from Bangor.
Brian has been a dedicated boxing coach for nearly 30 years, coaching hundreds of young people from the poorest of facilities- a basic garage on the estate.
Despite the odds, boxers he has coached have gone on to become Welsh Champions. His most memorable night was having three Welsh Champions in one tournament in Cardiff. He has organised various boxing tournaments and travelled all over the UK following his beloved sport and raised thousands over the years and dedicates most weekends taking the young people away on tournaments as well as training throughout the week.
Not only has Brian provided the young people of Bangor with great boxing techniques, skill and discipline; he has given them an alternative rather than getting into trouble or hanging around the street
The Overall Community Champion of the Year Award went to Ray Herbert from Old Colwyn - a £500,000 fundraiser.
He helped to establish the Happy Faces charity in North Wales 19 years ago to help and support disadvantaged children across the region and in that time the organisation has donated eight minibuses to schools.
The 71-year-old has completed 23 London Marathons, the New York Marathon, Three Peaks Challenge and 100-mile bike rises to keep the cash coming in.
ScottishPower corporate communications director, Richard Taylor, commmented, “Our partnership with Trinity Mirror North Wales recognises the unsung heroes whose selfless acts make such a difference to the lives of others in their communities.”
Daily Post editor Andrew Campbell added, “It is a privilege to meet and honour these great people. They are all true champions and deserve this recognition for their dedication and hard work.”