The Gazette’s Steve Canavan has been named as one of the region’s top writers at a glittering awards ceremony - with a little help from his mum.
Steve, 37, was honoured with the title of Feature Writer of the Year at the O2 Media Awards in Liverpool.
Judges said: “Steve Canavan has a rare gift – an ability to make the printed word leap from the page and into the imagination.
“It had been a difficult year for this journalist. Formerly the Blackpool Gazette’s football writer he had given up his full time sports role at the paper to help his family when his father and sister were diagnosed with cancer.
“Steve used those experiences as inspiration for a series of articles on living with illness.
“But it wasn’t just cancer he tackled head on – he threw himself onto the streets of Blackpool to experience life being homeless; raised cash while writing about and supporting local charities and even penned and performed a song for Blackpool to celebrate local life.
”The award was presented by surprise guests – his mum Pat and sister Ruth.”
The Gazette’s Blackpool FC writer William Watt was also praised at the Awards as he was highly commended in the Sports Writer category.
Judges said: “Newly appointed to the sports job he found himself in the middle of a chaotic year. Four managers, a relegation battle, a fan revolt and a summer exodus of players were just some of the topics Will was given to handle and handle them he did with style and a clarity that won him the respect of club bosses and supporters.”
The O2 Awards attracted more than 300 entries and took judges three days to fully consider.
Nicola Green, Head of Communications and Reputation at O2 UK, said: “The media talent that’s in the North West is undeniable. Every year the judging panel finds it harder and harder to select an overall winner for each category.”
Jon Rhodes, Editor of The Gazette, said: “Steve and Will’s nominations were fully deserved and are testament to their hard work, creativity and dedication.
“This is fantastic recognition of the talented writers we have at The Gazette and our commitment to delivering first-rate journalism.”
ITV Granada’s Blackpool-born Sarah Rogers was named runner-up in the Television Broadcast Journalist of the Year category.