By Brian Bennett | Photo: Ian Brodie

At Ashington Football Club, Alan Brown goes about his business in a calm, quiet manner and makes no fuss – and in the eyes of the Woodhorn Lane outfit, he is an unsung hero.

Unexpectedly the spotlight fell on Alan when he was presented with the Colliers’ club Person of the Year award recently – which left the logistics manager gobsmacked: “I had no idea about it and consequently the announcement came as a complete surprise,” he said, “I think the last time I got an award was around 25 years ago when I was secretary of the Ashington Comrades Football team when they played in the Morpeth Sunday League! I’m an Ashington lad who unfortunately never ever got to play for Ashington FC but I’ve always wanted to be involved and to make a contribution. I’m sure a lot of people think that running a football club like this you are at the ground all of the time but 99 per cent of it is voluntary. We give up our time because we enjoy it – and I’m just pleased to be a part of it.”

He continued: “Obviously it’s been a terrific season and the craic in the dressing room has been great. The club have certainly captivated the local public – they have done the town proud – and I’ve even had people who I don’t know asking me about our results.”

Ashington chairman Brian Shotton said: “I’m delighted for Alan. If anyone personifies what Ashington Football Club is about it is Alan Brown. Football clubs could not operate without its volunteers and Alan’s job can be thankless at times. It’s not just the kitman role though, it’s the jobs many don’t see Alan doing around the place. We’re a small but very committed team at Ashington and I think the effort put in is reflected in results of the club’s improvement in recent years.”