Prizes are handed out in memory of philanthropist Bill

A sports award scheme set up in memory of a Shropshire philanthropist and former police and crime commissioner has announced the recipients of its first five £1,000 prizes.

Sam Majski and Paul Towler of Shrewsbury School of Boxing with Ursula Longmore
Sam Majski and Paul Towler of Shrewsbury School of Boxing with Ursula Longmore

The Bill Longmore Foundation awards were set up to form a lasting legacy to the work of a former police and crime commissioner who was a real mover and shaker in Shropshire.

These are the first awards and the gifts are set to be decided at an presentation event next week. The venue is being decided and should be announced in the next few days.

The five recipients are: Shrewsbury Lions Rugby Club – for the development of junior rugby; Shrewsbury School of Boxing – for sports equipment and trainer coaching; Market Drayton Town Football Club – walking football and supporting the Armed Forces; the Telford Chin Woo Sports Club – for coaching qualifications/promote.

In addition, the Shropshire Referees Association was asked to provide the name of a young referee, with Lewis Tomkins selected and the award set to enhance their career.

Trevor Edwards, a trustee of the Bill Longmore Foundation, said the winners cover a wide spectrum of sports in Shropshire and all carry out 'excellent work in the community'.

"I personally feel that with the decline of youth services and social services a lot of our community sports clubs provide an essential service and I applaud them all," he said.

After a 30-year career in the police service in Staffordshire, Bill Longmore moved to Hanwood, near Shrewsbury, where he served on the parish council, and saved the local pub, the Cock Inn, and the bowling green, for the community.

Married to Ursula, who still lives in Hanwood, he built up a manufacturing company and converting two factories to timber mills.

Mr Longmore was a huge philanthropist especially when it came to sport, and in 2011 he scooped the BBC Midlands Sports Unsung Hero Award. The judges were impressed by his work improving sports facilities in the village of Hanwood.

Mr Longmore stood as an independent candidate in the 2012 election and became the first Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia.

But while serving as PCC he was diagnosed with lung cancer, for which he received chemotherapy. He died at his farm house home on May 17, 2018, aged 79. His funeral took place at Shrewsbury Crematorium on June 9, with a thanksgiving service at Shrewsbury Abbey Church the same day. Both were major events in the community.

Mr Longmore's memory lives on partly in a foundation set up that carries his name, with the intention of encouraging and supporting sport across Staffordshire and Shropshire. It is backed by a trust fund.

The Staffordshire awards have been handed out and now they are moving on to Shropshire

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