KEVIN Gallacher is perfectly placed to talk of the rise and rise of the Grassroots Heroes Awards having been a guest of honour at each of the previous events.

The former Blackburn Rovers and Scotland striker has kindly given up his free time to hand out the awards – and on each occasion he has been blown away by stories of success, hard work and dedication shown in grassroots sport.

Gallacher, who has played in the World Cup finals, is no stranger to life in amateur sport as he plays for and helps out at Ribchester Tennis Club and runs his own football coaching school, G8 Soccer School while he is also director of football at AFC Darwen.

“The one thing that has always stuck out for me at these awards are the incredible stories,” said Gallacher. “I have been to all three and I have never failed to be amazed by the tales from people involved in amateur sport.

“Whether it is those who are winning medals and trophies and the hard working coaches and club officials. It is memorable stuff.”