GATESHEAD Football Club volunteer Les McCourt has been named as the Vanarama National League’s Volunteer of the Month for November. 

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Les has been a volunteer at Gateshead Football Club for over a decade. His roles have included stewarding, team sheet and programme distribution, hospitality, kit management, disabled liaison officer and photographer. He also plays an active part in the club’s walking football programme which led to his adopted nickname, ‘The Tank’.

He continues to do most of these roles while also attending all first-team matches, home and away, as our assistant kit-man.

Upon receiving the award Les commented: “I was obviously happy when I was told about the award but like any volunteer, I’m not in it for any form of glory or personal recognition, I just do it to help the club.

“After leaving the Army, I was stuck in the house and following Gateshead gave me something to do and I really love it.

“Since I first started following the club I’ve gradually become more involved. I started out as a steward and then started assisting Micky Thornton with various tasks before just doing whatever I could to help the club really.

“I love everything about helping out around the club, I’m passionate about Gateshead and it keeps me busy.

“Due to some personal circumstances last year I’ve got a lot more free time, so volunteering at Gateshead almost on a full-time basis has really helped with my mental health and happiness as without Gateshead, I’d just be sitting around the house doing nothing.”

Les also volunteers at the club throughout the week, conducting various tasks, the most notable of which has involved manning and organising the new Gateshead FC Club Shop.

The future of the club shop looked uncertain at the start of November, however, thanks to Les’ help, the shop has been completely transformed in a very short amount of time.

For the first time, the club shop has a permanent location at the International Stadium as fans are able to browse and buy club merchandise throughout the week as well as on a matchday. This has been down to Les reorganising things and transforming an old stock room into a welcoming shop which has proven very popular with fans.

Everyone at Gateshead Football Club would like to congratulate Les on his thoroughly deserved award and thank him, and all of our hard working volunteers for their tremendous efforts over the years.