SKIPTON'S Roger Ingham has had his contribution to sport in North Yorkshire recognised with an MBE in the New Year's honours list.

Roger, widely known as 'Dodger', of Aldersley Avenue, has been an integral part of the local sports scene for the past 50 years competing in rugby, football, athletics, boxing and swimming.

Nowadays the majority of his time is devoted to youth coaching and over the years it is believed 1,000-plus youngsters have benefited from his expertise.

Mr Ingham first found out he had been nominated for the award when a letter arrived from the House of Commons. But, because he was so busy, days had elapsed before he had time to sit down and read it.

And he has had little time to absorb the news as he has been trying to organise the Yorkshire Cross County Championships in addition to numerous other commitments.

Sport is a massive part of his life - he gives himself one day off a year to watch the Rugby League Cup Final. However he said he had never intended to become as heavily involved as he had done but he couldn't say no when asked for help.

Mr Ingham explained he had enjoyed seeing those he had coached reach the top in their sport but added: "My punchline has always been I will take the worst in the world providing they put in heart, effort and discipline."

The fact that he is so well-known in the town helps him when he is out rattling a tin for charity, particularly Candlelighters, which helps child cancer sufferers.

He is also well-known for his commentary at agricultural shows and writing sports reports for the Craven Herald.

His other responsibilities include being chairman of Keighley Amateur Boxing Club and Skipton Athletics Club.