Cooke Award!

Last updated : 16 June 2009 By Boro Mad
Mr Cooke, 60, originally joined Boro's board as ICI's nominated director during the club's final season at Ayresome Park in 1994.

George Cooke: "It's an honour for the whole club.

"My reason for being on the board was to get the money for building the new stadium.

"I left after about six years when ICI sold its shares to Steve Gibson.

"I am very passionate about trying to help people in deprived areas and I think that's why I've got it.

"I knew about it and accepted it a month ago but I didn't know it had become public until Alastair Brownlee left a message on my answerphone saying it was Buckingham Palace and asking to speak to my butler!

"It feels almost overwhelming because it's recognition of the team here and what the team has achieved, as well as of what I've achieved.

"It happens to be that there's someone at the head of the team, but the people who deserve the honour are the people who work for me.

"I've always set out to employ quality people because you don't get anywhere without that."