NEIL Baldwin, or to many, Nello, has been awarded the prestigious British Empire Medal for his Services to the Communities of Newcastle under Lyme.
Nello was made famous in the film Marvellous, which is about his life including his time as Stoke City Football Club’s kit-man.
Nello’s award was announced in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours, and at a special ceremony, held at Keele University ,he received his medal from the Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Ian Dudson CBE KStJ on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.
Mr Baldwin said: “I am very happy to have received this award on this great occasion. It is a great honour for the Baldwin’s household and I would like to express my thanks to the Queen and all the Royal family for recognising me in such a way.
“I am really looking forward to attending the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace and celebrating my BEM at my inauguration on this great day.”
Chairman of Staffordshire County Council Michael Greatorex said: “I am delighted to have been invited to attend this presentation and to see Mr. Baldwin honoured by HM The Queen.
“I first became aware of the work that “Nello” did at Stoke City FC when I saw a programme on TV. Then, at one of my first engagements as chairman of Staffordshire County Council I was lucky enough to get to meet him.
” He told me about some of his work. I have had the pleasure of chatting to him again since then at other events which we have both attended. Many congratulations Nello from Staffordshire County Council and our residents.”
Ian Dudson Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire added: “The British Empire Medal is now fully re-established as a significant part of our Honours system, often uniquely recognising voluntary contributions at a very local community level and within minority groups.
“I am delighted that Neil has been recognised in the last New Year honours list. His positive outlook, kindness and encouragement to all around him despite his disadvantages has enabled him to become a great role model for many people in similar situations. It is a fitting and ‘Marvellous’ recognition.”
Further details on awards are available at: www.gov.uk/honours/overview or www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service/overview