Special tributes to the late Jimmy Armfield were singled out by judges after The Gazette was named the Daily Newspaper of the Year in the North West.
The Gazette was honoured at the O2 Media Awards, held at Chester Racecourse, for its coverage of the Blackpool FC and England legend, a series chronicling 10 years since the Riverdance disaster, knife crime in schools and our role in a co-ordinated media campaign over the Northern Rail fiasco.
The award was revealed by Strictly Come Dancing’s 2017 winner Ore Oduba who said: “This town holds a very dear place in my heart as it does with so many other ballroom fans across the globe.
“Today’s Daily Newspaper of the Year is the Blackpool Gazette.
“Congratulations everybody, keep dancing and keep writing and maybe I’ll see you for a dance in my sequined pyjamas another time!”
The Gazette’s Matt Scrafton was highly commended in the Sports reporter category.
Judges said: “The Gazette is a paper always looking for imaginative ways of keeping readers informed. It’s interesting and engaging.
“The editions paying tribute to local football legend Jimmy Armfield and the 10 year anniversary of the Riverdance ferry accident were first rate.
“It’s a paper full of spirit, beautifully laid out from front to back, with first class photography and writing.”
The Gazette produced three special supplements celebrating the life of Jimmy Armfield, who died aged 82 on January 22.
That preceded a week-long series 10 years on since the Riverdance ferry disaster, which was beached on the sands between Bispham and Cleveleys in bad weather on January 31 2008.
Andy Sykes, deputy editor of The Gazette, said: “I am immensely proud of everyone at The Gazette who put their heart and soul into the paper and our website each day.
“I sincerely hope our coverage did justice to the late, great Jimmy Armfield who means so much to this town and our readers.”