A COMMUNITY champion has been awarded for his dedication to a rugby club at a House of Commons ceremony.

Peter Gore received The Premiership Rugby Community Champion Award for his work for Bolton Rugby Union Football Club.

Mr Gore got involved in community work after losing his job because of an ongoing battle with depression and anxiety.

He arranges events for players and parents at the club, sources employment for senior players so they can continue to play, and liaises with different organisations to raise awareness of rugby along with issues such as hate crime.

Mr Gore was awarded at a ceremony at The House of Commons in London earlier this month, which was attended by former England rugby star Jason Robinson.

The Bolton RUFC deputy junior chairman, said: “I'm shocked, it's the first thing I've ever won in my life. It just reflects on how important the community is to Bolton and how much work we put in.

“It might be me getting the award, but we have an entire team who go out with the children who it is also for. That is what we need to do — it's the whole idea of rugby to give something back.

“I suffer badly from depression and anxiety, which caused me to lose my job a few years ago.

"To be able to go and work with the young children at schools in Bolton who have mental health issues and to see the difference in them, giving something back and seeing the smiles on their faces, those moments are just worth everything.”

He said being involved in the community is the only way the club survives.

Mr Gore was put forward for the award by the club for being an “inspiration, his passion, his hard work and his enthusiasm”.

He used to play for the club but was forced to retire due to a knee injury. He turned his efforts to community work and has raised £7,000 for the club through grants over the past year and has forged close links with Sale Sharks.

The award was designed to reward a person who delivers significant social change in their community.