THE wife of a treasured first responder said she was ‘very proud’ to pick up a prestigious award on her late husband’s behalf last week.
Liz Bailey was presented with Uttoxeter Town Council’s Annual Commendation Award at the town hall which was given to her husband Cliff for his tireless work as the Dove Valley Community First Responder.
Mrs Bailey was joined by some of Cliff’s former colleagues on an emotional occasion at the town hall, with the beloved Denstone 63-year-old having only passed away in August.
She told the Advertiser: “I’m very proud and his family would be very proud too. It is just a shame he couldn’t be here today but I’m sure he is somewhere looking down on us with a big grin on his face.
“We’ve had so many people sending so many cards and lovely messages since Cliff died. It has been such a huge help.
“It is very difficult having been with Cliff for 24 years to be without him. It was such a shock to us when he died.
“He would have been absolutely thrilled to have been recognised in this way because he enjoyed what he did so much — he lived and breathed it and did not see it as a chore.
“Even when he was ill he would still put on his uniform and say he was going to do a couple of hours.” Uttoxeter Mayor, Councillor Martin Blencowe, paid tribute saying there was a ‘massive sense of sadness’ that Mr Bailey wasn’t there in person to receive the award.
“To say he was brilliant is an understatement,” he said.
“He was just there — no fuss, no bother like so many of our unsung heroes.” Councillor Blencowe said it was also a ‘great pleasure and an absolute honour’ to present a special Olympic Commendation Award to Alan Parker, a legend of the Uttoxeter Sunday football league and founder of the town’s half-marathon.
Mr Parker, 59, told the Advertiser: “It is a bit overwhelming to be honest.
“It is a pleasant surprise. I’ve been involved with the local football league most of my life.
“I played and then became a referee in 1977 and then I was asked to become the fixtures and regulations secretary in 1978 and I’ve been doing it since then.
“It is hard work but I enjoy it. It has been great to see three local sides now playing on a Saturday as well.
“I would like to thanks those who are with me on the committee who have put sterling service in to local football chairman Peter Hodgkinson and president David Hammond. It has been a pleasure to work with them.”