Footballing legend a finalist in national award for brave Britons

Dickie Borthwick  Pictures: BNPS/Amplifon Awards
Dickie Borthwick Pictures: BNPS/Amplifon Awards

Weymouth footballing legend Dickie Borthwick has been named a finalist in a national award for brave Britons after completing a 79-year soccer career.

Retired engineer Dickie, who beat prostate cancer 10 years’ ago, has played more than 1,600 matches during his career and scored more than 400 goals having played for a host of non-league clubs in Dorset.

The 86-year-old has reached the final four of the Active Agers category in global-hearing specialist Amplifon’s search for the ‘Best of British’ heroes.

He will now be invited to the virtual awards presentation on Tuesday, October 11 hosted by TV and Radio 5 Live presenter Rachel Burden with Falklands War hero Simon Weston as guest of honour.

Grandfather-of-seven Dickie, whose last game was for veterans’ team AFC Wyke Smugglers, decided to hang up his boots following the pandemic, the development of sciatica and a serious chest infection.

But his ailments haven’t stopped Dickie carrying out his other hobbies of gardening, playing the piano and singing karaoke three times a week.

He said: “I just loved being out there playing football – it gave me a buzz and it was something to look forward to at the end of the week.

“I always said that if I can’t play properly and put in my best effort then it is not worth playing at all. I still get the urge to play but my body can’t keep up.”

Also in the final is Dorset endurance runner Nick Butter, below, who completed 200 marathons in 128 days to become the fastest human to run the entire coastline of Great Britain.

Amplifon Awards

Nick, 33, originally from Bristol and now living in Verwood, is among the final four in the Against all Odds category.

During his record-breaking run for his own 196 Foundation charity, Nick sustained broken bones, countless blisters, torn Achilles, pulled hamstrings, and knee cartilage damage – not to mention some awful weather conditions and all the mental barriers that had to be overcome.

The Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons are in their seventh year and celebrate remarkable people and pets.

Set up in honour of Amplifon’s founder, Second World War hero Major Charles Holland, the awards recognise courage and achievement in the categories of Against All Odds, Service To Country, Charity Champion, Active Agers, Young Hero, Hero Pet, Celebrity Hero and Coronavirus Hero. The judges will choose an Overall Hero Award winner from the category winners.