THE county’s sporting heroes are to be recognised at the annual Lancashire Sports Awards on Friday.

Now in its 11th year, the glittering award ceremony at Preston Guild Hall will welcome special guests including Blackburn Harriers’ Olympians – pole-vaulter Holly Bleasdale, and Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray, as well as former Burnley footballer Graham Alexander.

In total, 82 finalists will be competing to be named as the winner of categories including; coach of the year, community club of the year, rising star and the award for lifetime achievement.

Adrian Leather, chief executive of Lancashire Sport Partnership which organises the annual event, said: “The level of nominations for the awards surpasses expectation each year and this year’s event is bigger and better than ever before – it’s a great reminder that people are inspired by sport and are inspirational to others.

“I am sure the major sporting stars that will be joining us fresh from the Olympics and Paralympics will be warmly welcomed by all our finalists and guests.”

Doors open at 6.30pm and the official ceremony commences with a sit-down dinner at 7.30pm.

For tickets to the event, visit www.lancashiresport.