‘Unsung hero’ Fred still doing the rounds at 91

Gainsborough Citizen of the year awarded to Fred Richardson, presented by Mayoress Lesley Rollins  G121108-1b
Gainsborough Citizen of the year awarded to Fred Richardson, presented by Mayoress Lesley Rollins G121108-1b

AN ‘unsung hero’ who has worked tirelessly for the Royal British Legion for 66 years has been named as Gainsborough’s Citizen of the Year.

Fred Richardson, 91, was handed the award by the Mayor of Gainsborough, Coun Lesley Rollings, at a meeting of Gainsborough Town Council.

Ex-serviceman Fred joined the Legion in 1946. His father had been a founder member of the Gainsborough branch.

Fred has been a long-standing and unwavering supporter of the legion and has devoted much of his time to volunteering in the community.

Torr Street resident Neil Foottit nominated Fred for the award, having known him for more than a decade.

“I nominated him for his enthusiasm and dedication for the Royal British Legion all year round,” said Neil.

“He has always got time to help people, not just ex-servicemen, putting them on the right path if they need help in any way.”

Neil described Fred as ‘one of those unsung heroes’.

He said: “He doesn’t do it for the thanks or the glory, he just cares.”

At the age of 91 Fred is still doing his monthly rounds, visiting the ex-servicemen in the community who he knows.

RBL Gainsborough branch chairman Michael Wragg said: “They might be people who are sick or lonely and he pays them a visit to have a chat and perhaps take them a small gift, like sweets, to show them someone still cares.”

Mr Wragg said it was a pleasure to know Fred.

“It’s nice to know him, it’s nice to have worked with him for so many years and we all look forward to continuing to do so.”

“All organisations have their ups and downs, and Fred has always been there. For most of his time with us he has been one of the leaders in making sure the legion prospers in the town and across the district.”

Coun Rollings said: “In this day and age people like Fred are very rare.”

“The way he works behind the scenes supporting people most in need should be an inspiration to us all.”