FORMER Swindon Town steward Douglas Coombs has been recognised with the Town Hero Award for 2020 by the TrustSTFC and the Official Supporters Club.

Mr Coombs, who clocked up 56 years of service to the football club as a safety officer, retired in November 2020 but was never given any thanks by Swindon Town following his decision.

After being extremely disappointed upon learning this, both supporter groups decided to come together and honour Doug with the Town Hero Award, as well as a framed photo of his favourite Swindon manager, Paolo Di Canio.

On receiving the award, Doug said: “I am absolutely delighted with the award and picture.

“I greatly appreciate the support of the TrustSTFC and Official Supporters Club in taking the time to recognise my efforts.

“All I wanted was a thank you from the club but unfortunately that wasn’t forthcoming.”

One of Mr Coombs’ highlights, after beginning his role at the County Ground in 1964, was the setting up and running of the match day control room in the mid-80s.

Doug also went on to look after many of the VIP guests who visited the ground, and footballing legend George Best was one such personality under Mr Coombs’ care.

Without the buzz of a match day to fill his time, Doug is now writing a book about his experiences at the County Ground, as well as his encounters with some of the famous people he interacted with.

Both supporter groups would like to go on record and thank Doug for all his dedication and hard work over those 56 years, and wish him and his family a very happy new year.