A WEST Cheshire AC stalwart has been honoured for his commitment to club, county and international athletics.
Joe Shellhorn's association with the sport dates back more than 50 years. The 78-year-old says he just 'loves being involved'.
Joe's achievements were recognised at the Cheshire and Warrington Sports Partnership Awards, where he was named official of the year.
Joe - president of West Cheshire AC and a respected figure at the Ellesmere Port and Chester-based club - said: 'My first encounter with athletics was in 1948 when me and a friend were shortlisted as officials for the London Olympics.
'After that there was a break until my daughters took up running in 1972. They and I joined the then Chester and District AC and I began officiating.'
Joe took his responsibilities seriously and soon earned respect in the athletics community. He officiated for all track and field sports and moved up through the ranks.
'I went along to help as a lot of parents do and I never left,' he said.
'I love being involved. As I have gone on I have filled vacancies where they have appeared and gradually risen to the standard of international official.
'I have officiated all over the world and next year will be my last on the international circuit. I will still be
fully involved with the club, however.'
Almost 200 people attended the fourth annual Cheshire and Warrington Sports Partnership Awards at Mere Golf and Country Club, Knutsford.
The evening was a great success and 30 nominees from a number of different sports were honoured for their hard work and dedication over the past year.
Joe said: 'It is nice to be nominated by people within the club and picked for something like this because it shows that what we do in maintaining a club so that people can compete is appreciated.
'The main thing for me is that I don't feel this award is just for me, it is for the club.
'Athletics is an individual pursuit which could not exist without a massive team.
'Our team is first class and I am proud to be associated with it.'
West Cheshire AC chairman Dennis Wall added: 'On behalf of everyone at the club, I'd like to congratulate Joe on his award which is well deserved.
'Joe has been involved in athletics for as long as I have known him and he has served the club and the sport as an official and as an enthusiast down the years.
'Joe is known throughout the athletics fraternity in his capacity as a respected high-ranking official and it's so good to see his work rewarded.'