ATLANTIC rower and charity fundraiser Frank Rothwell can add another prestigious accolade to his growing collection.
Frank’s ocean crossing achievement earlier this year raised more than £1 million for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
His heroics at the age of 70 earned the Greenfield pensioner the Freedom of Oldham and an appreciation award from outgoing Mayor of Oldham Councillor Ginny Alexander.
Now the pride of Saddleworth has won Fundraiser of the Year in the Pride of Manchester Awards, in partnership with TSB.
Actor and comedian John Thomson travelled to Frank’s home to hand him his trophy ahead of the Awards show on Thursday, May 27, premiering on YouTube and hosted by actor Kym Marsh.
The Awards honour the region’s unsung heroes and celebrate ordinary Mancunians who do extraordinary things.
Frank is the oldest person to have completed the Atlantic Challenge single-handed. He set off from the Canary Islands on December 12, 2020 and reached Antigua 3,000 miles and 56 days later.
Oldham schoolgirl Keira Arnold, 13, is also recognised as Teenager of Courage. She was four when her dad Stephen died of cancer aged 28 and she has since set up Keira’s Wishes and raised more than £32,000 for Dr Kershaw’s Hospice.
Coronavirus restrictions have again ruled out the usual glittering red carpet dinner but former Coronation Street star Kym meets the inspirational winners in a Covid-safe show at Manchester’s Midland Hotel from 7pm.
Frank and all of this year’s Mancunian winners will go forward to the judging process for the Pride of Britain Awards which are screened on ITV in the Autumn.
Dozens of famous faces are taking part in the show, including David Walliams, Emma Bunton, Marcus Rashford, Steph Houghton, David Jason, Piers Morgan, Sue Johnston, Naga Munchetty, John Thomson and Amanda Holden.
Kym Marsh said: “Pride of Manchester is so close to my heart, and I absolutely loved meeting this year’s amazing winners. You can’t help but be inspired by their stories, and it’s a wonderful show.”