Accolade bowls over India's cricketing starmaker

A SURGEON who has given 30 years of sterling service to medicine in Yorkshire and India – while helping to develop some of the brightest talents in cricket – said he was deeply honoured after being made an MBE.

Dr Ashok Pathak, 58, an orthopaedic surgeon at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, receives the award for services to medicine in the East Riding and India.

As well as excelling in his profession, Dr Pathak was an accomplished wicket-keeper and batsman, who through an agreement with Hull Cricket Club has helped nurture the careers of many cricketers from the subcontinent.

Stars including Dilip Vengsarkar went on to play for India after visiting Hull. Vengsarkar also captained his country.

Dr Pathak's medical contributions include his role as chairman of the negotiating committee of the British Medical Association, and he regularly takes a team of British surgeons to India to train local doctors. He also manages a charitable hospital for tuberculosis patients in his native state of Bihar, which was founded by his late father, Dr Munishwar Pathak.

"It has been a great privilege to serve the medical profession," Dr Pathak said. "I am naturally deeply honoured and pleased that my contribution has been recognised in this way."

Dr David Hepburn, medical director at the trust, said: "His untiring charitable works really make Ashok stand out as a special person."

Meanwhile, Gordon Maurice Littlewood, an ex-miner who has worked tirelessly for his Sheffield neighbourhood, said he was "overwhelmed" to have been made an MBE.

The 76-year-old is chairman of Handsworth Forum and has worked on countless projects, most notably setting up Amy's House Nursery which provides respite care for families with children suffering a range of conditions including Down's Syndrome, epilepsy and autism.

The centre is named after his granddaughter, who died 12 years ago from meningitis.

"I'm delighted, and very happy that somebody's taken the time and trouble to nominate me", Mr Littlewood said.

"I really am overwhelmed. I never thought an old pit lad like me would get an MBE. I'm a little bit intolerant and a little bit impatient, and it seems that helps to get things done."

As well as founding Amy's House, Mr Littlewood is also a keen environmental campaigner and, two years ago, won a "Care For Air" award for his efforts in improving air quality in his neighbourhood.

Coun Bob Gettings, who sits on both Leeds City Council and Morley Town Council as an independent, has also been made an MBE for services to the community.

A former deputy headteacher at Bruntcliffe High School, he has played an active role in supporting community organisations.

He has shown a keen interest in the work of Churwell and Gildersome Action Groups as well as playing an active role in Morley Entertainments Committee.

Coun Gettings, who also serves as a magistrate, said: "To say I was surprised would be an understatement."

Sylvia Grice, a 77-year-old from Ripon, has become an MBE for services to swimming after coaching generations of youngsters across the district over the past 43 years.

The grandmother of three, who currently works at Ripon Spa Baths, started teaching when her daughters first took to the water and over her career coached them to national swimming championships with the Harrogate and District Club, as well as training several Olympic swimmers and thousands of school children.

She said: "It's an amazing honour and I still don't quite believe it. I'm going to have to celebrate with a really big party."

Both Julie Stamper, from Market Weighton in the East Riding, and Maureen Laycock, from Sheffield, have been made MBEs for services to education.

Ms Stamper founded the Schoolgirl Mums' Unit for pregnant schoolgirls in 1989 and Mrs Laycock, who retired this year, is credited with turning around the failing Firth Park comprehensive school.

From the beat to deputy police chief

A POLICE officer from Sheffield has been awarded the Queen's Police Medal for 34 years of distinguished service.

Deputy Chief Constable Bob Dyson is the only South Yorkshire police constable to have risen from the ranks to the force's senior command team.

He said: "I'm pleased and proud to receive The Queen's Police Medal. I've always considered myself fortunate to be doing a job that I love."

Born in Meersbrook, Mr Dyson emigrated to Australia at the age of 10 and later became a cadet in the Victoria State Police. But when he and his family returned home he joined his local force in November 1976.

Over the years he has risen through the ranks and has also acted as an adviser on drama series Dalziel and Pascoe.

Mr Dyson added: "I've had approaches for chief constables' posts this year, but I want to stay here. This is where I belong."