Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 16.30.51A TIRELESS champion for sport, culture and heritage in Middlesbrough has been recognised with a Mayor’s Award.

Rob Nichols, editor of Boro fanzine Fly Me To The Moon, received his honour at a special ceremony in the Town Hall on Monday, April 27.

Presenting the award, Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon paid tribute to Rob’s passion for his home town and the example he sets to others.

The 52-year-old former Captain Cook Primary and Nunthorpe Comprehensive pupil got his first season ticket at Ayresome Park at the age of 11 and hasn’t missed a Boro game home or away since September, 1999 when his brother got married in Hong Kong.

He started writing for the Boro fanzine Fly Me To The Moon soon after it started in 1988, taking over as editor in 1994.

The magazine and website provide a platform for people to express their thoughts on football and the world in general, with many contributors going on to work as writers and broadcasters.

An avid supporter of the local music scene, Rob was gig secretary of the Middlesbrough Music Collective and has written a weekly live music column for the Gazette for 20 years.

He has been lead singer with Shrug for 30 years, touring many times in Europe with the band which holds the distinction of being the first to play in East Berlin without a visa, going through Checkpoint Charlie as the Berlin wall was being chipped away from the west.

Rob has been an ambassador for the lovemiddlesbrough campaign for many years, showing visitors from far and wide around the town and writing a regular blog.

For the past two years he has been co-organiser of Middlesbrough Local History Month in May and Discover Middlesbrough in October to showcase the town’s rich heritage and culture, and he is also a keen archaeologist.

He’s also a keen runner and supporter of Middlesbrough’s 5k and 10k races, and trains regularly with the local Swift-tees community running club.

Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon said: “Middlesbrough needs people to counteract negativity, and in Rob it truly has a passionate advocate.

“He has never forgotten who he is or where he has come from, and he has made a significant contribution to enhancing the reputation of the borough of Middlesbrough.

“He is part of the fabric of Middlesbrough and a great ambassador for the town, and he fully deserves this Mayor’s Award.”

Accepting the award, Rob, who was joined by family, friends and colleagues at Monday’s event, said: “For someone who lives and works in the town and supports Middlesbrough Football Club, this is such a great honour.

“Like so many people I have been inspired by the heritage we have here, and the shared sense of community.

“We’re all proud to come from Middlesbrough and I am just pleased to be able to do my little bit to make it better.”