IT was a night of celebration, a chance to give a pat on the back and say a collective ‘well done’ to all those involved in grass roots sport.

Teams and individuals rightly picked up the accolades their talents richly deserved. Coaches and unsung heroes, who so often shun the attention, got their moment in the spotlight.

Some were champions, all were winners. Heroes one and all.

It would be fair to say the first Lancashire Telegraph Grass Roots Heroes awards, sponsored and supported by United Utilities, were a huge success.

Friends, family, team-mates and club colleagues gathered at Mytton Fold Hotel, Langho, to support and cheer on all those shortlisted for the 10 categories.

The prize was not just the elegant water droplet-shaped glass award – a fitting nod to the sponsors – but recognition from the amateur sporting establishment.

All were happy to be a part of the moment.

“These are coveted awards and to be a part of the very first one is very special,” said Farouk Hussain, head coach of Clitheroe Cobras CC, winners of the community club of the year award.

The presence of special guests, former Rovers striker Kevin Gallacher, British squash champion Laura Massaro and Burnley star Jay Rodriguez just added to the occasion.

They posed for pictures, signed autographs and acknowledged the importance of what goes on at grass roots level, all agreeing that is where their road to stardom began.

“We’ll produce world champions,” said newly-crowned coach of the year Brian Roche of his successful boxing club.

“Because we are Warriors,” said the Warriors of Witton on why their incredible two-year unbeaten run led to promotion after promotion and the senior team of the year award for the delighted hockey ladies.

It was an informal gathering with a touch of class. Spud pie and fizzy wine. And all were in generous mood, the pre-awards raffle for signed Rovers and Clarets shirts raised £330 for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal - Mytton Fold’s chosen charity. Another pat on the back for all who dug deep.

It set the tone for the evening, as generous applause (not to mention the ‘whoops and hollers’ from the Warriors of Witton) greeted every nominee.

The night was knitted together perfectly by MC Andy Ashworth, seamlessly joining each section; quizzing, probing and sending happy winners on their way.

It was a night for teams, individuals and unsung heroes but most importantly, it was a night for Heroes.

Roll of honour JUNIOR SPORTS PERSONALITY Winner: Amy Stevens Highly commended: George Drinkwater George Hutchings SENIOR SPORTS PERSONALITY Winner: Peter Jones Highly commended: Eric Knowles Jack Steff COMMUNITY CLUB OF THE YEAR Winner: Clitheroe Cobras Cricket Club Highly commended: Accrington Girls and Ladies Football Hyndburn Athletics Club UNSUNG HERO Winner: Neill Caville Highly commended: Steve Frost Mark Snowden LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Winner: Iqbal Bhai Highly commended: Harry Warburton Alan Smith COACH OF YEAR Winner: Brian Roche Highly commended: Ian Taylor Brian Foley JUNIOR TEAM OF THE YEAR Winner: Mill Hill under-13s Highly commended: SP Dynamos FC, Barrowford Rishton United FC under-16s SENIOR TEAM OF THE YEAR Winner: Witton Warriors Ladies Hockey team Highly commended: Knuzden FC Padiham Ladies FC PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Winner: St Bede’s girl’s under-13s football team Highly commended: Leah Hillman Rishton United FC under-9s READERS CHOICE: Winner: Stan Heaton Highly commended: Burnley Miners Vets Chloe Love Blacko Primary School tag rugby team Anne Ellwood