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Football: Hero is rewarded for contribution to the game.

Byline: PAUL GILDER

DERRICK Gurney, Durham County's industrious chairman, was last night rewarded for his contribution to the local game as he was crowned the North-East's first-ever Umbro Football Hero.

The 61-year-old from Pity Me received his award from Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi - who put the club's young players through their paces during an impromptu kick-about following the presentation at Gilesgate Sports College.

Gurney, who spent time discussing his efforts with Ameobi, has helped Durham become the county's largest community-based club - with more than 20 boys' and girls' teams in operation.

I still can't believe it," he said. "I'm so honoured to receive this award from Umbro. But it's not just about me. This award is for all the people who help out at the club and in the community to make this club so special."

County's hard-working chairman - who dedicates all his free time to running the club - also received a special commendation from Umbro ambassador Alan Shearer.

"Derrick's a true football hero," said the former Newcastle and England captain. "His contribution to the game and the community is immeasurable. As a local lad, I know how much football is appreciated in the North-East and it's people like Derrick who make the game happen at grassroots level."

CAPTION(S):

HONOURED: Shola Ameobe presents Derrick Gurney, with his Umbro Football Hero award at Gilesgate Sports College yesterday.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 11, 2007
Words:228
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