YOUR CHAMPIONS: Wirral winners Alan Redford and Ryan Hanlon win regional community awards
INSPIRATIONAL Moreton soldier Alan Redford won a standing ovation at a glittering awards ceremony to honour our community heroes.
Lance Corporal Redford, who received the Military Cross for saving his platoon from the Taliban in Afghanistan, was named regional Champion Person of the Year in Your Champions 2011, while Rock Ferry student Ryan Hanlon was crowned regional Sports Champion.
Our other Wirral winners – Abigail Snowden (Young Person), Calday Grange Grammar School’s LeJog team (Team) and Ken McDermott (Volunteer) – were also given the red carpet treatment at Friday’s event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Chester.
They joined category winners from our sister papers in Cheshire and Flintshire.
All were vying for the title of overall champion, Person, Team, Volunteer, Young Person and Sporting Champion.
Trinity Mirror, publishers of Wirral News, teamed up with Scottish Power for the awards to highlight the good work of individuals or groups.
Real-life all-action war hero Lance Corporal Redford won over the judges for his courage in inspiring his men to battle through a 26-hour barrage of bullets and hand grenades.
The 35-year-old father of two, of the 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment is currently on secondment working in army recruitment. He said: “Something like this, along with working in recruitment means I can give something back.”
Ryan Hanlon’s story of triumph over adversity began when he was 10 and culminated with gold in the Sprint Triathlon World Championships in Beijing.
In his spare time he helps to promote sport by coaching younger people and fundraises for good causes including the British Heart Foundation.
He is now preparing for next year's world championships in Auckland New Zealand as he works towards his ultimate goal – representing his country in the 2016 Olympic Games.
Ryan, 21, said he was “over the moon”, adding: “It’s brilliant. I didn’t realise how well I’d done in the awards.”
Wirral News Group Editor Andrew Edwards said: “It was so wonderful to be able to recognise the contribution that these inspirational people have made in so many different ways.
“All our Wirral champions richly deserved their awards recognition.”