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'Community champion' given prestigious award during surprise ceremony at his beloved Aston Villa football ground

An Aston Villa fan has received a prestigious charity award in recognition for being a true community champion.

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From left: Tony Daley awards Bryan Gould with Muscular Dystrophy UK President’s Award. Photo: Aston Villa Football Club

Bryan Gould, from Stourbridge, received one of six President’s Awards from Muscular Dystrophy UK.

The charity, which supports people with muscle wasting and weakening conditions, arranged the surprise ceremony at the 64-year-old’s beloved Aston Villa’s football ground.

He received his award from the club’s legend player Tony Daley, who also played for England and Wolves.

Muscular Dystrophy UK President’s Awards recognises heroes within the muscle wasting and weakening community who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference.

Bryan won the Peter and Nancy Andrews Community Achievement Award at the Muscular Dystrophy UK President’s Awards in association with Airnow Technology.

But he was unable to attend the original ceremony, hosted by the charity’s president and TV presenter, Gabby Logan, on February 19 at the Salesforce Tower in London.

However, the charity contacted Aston Villa and the club was keen to show its support for an avid fan.

On the night Gabby described Byran as a phenomenal fundraiser and greatly active campaigner, heavily involved in all aspects of the charity’s work.

Bryan, who was diagnosed with Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy, is a long standing volunteer, who founded and chairs the Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy group and is co-chair of the West Midlands Regional Neuromuscular network.

Bryan is an active member of the muscle wasting and weakening community and has made himself available to support those who need it.

Gabby said: “The Muscular Dystrophy UK President’s Awards celebrates the strength and diversity of our fantastic muscle wasting and weakening community. We’re consistently blown away by the dedication and selflessness of people.

"The awards recognise those outstanding people doing remarkable things to help make a difference. Congratulations to Bryan for winning one of the awards.”

Bryan said: “I am extremely grateful to Muscular Dystrophy UK, Martin Hywood, Aston Villa football club and not forgetting a Villa legend from the 80's Tony Daley, who presented me with my charity award.

"A very special afternoon at my football club with a Villa star, staff, family and Leeds fan Martin from the charity. Loved it.”

There were six awards in total, recognising success in fundraising, caring, volunteering, community engagement and research, as well as an outstanding achievement award.

Four award recipients were nominated by staff and the remaining based on external votes.

All were shortlisted by a judging panel made up of the charity’s trustees.

Muscular Dystrophy UK’s chief executive, Catherine Woodhead, who called Bryan on the night of the awards, said: “Congratulations to Bryan for winning one of Muscular Dystrophy UK President’s Awards.

"We received lots of strong nominations – making the judging process harder than ever. It’s lovely to be able to recognise people who give their all to making a difference for those living with a muscle wasting and weakening condition.”