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Chief Constable named Sports Personality of the Year

Lancashire Constabulary’s long-serving Chief Constable has been awarded Sports Personality of the Year 2015/16.

Steve Finnigan, 58, from Southport was nominated for the accolade by members of the Constabulary’s Sports Club for his years of commitment and contribution to sport, both across the Constabulary and beyond.

In sport, his passion has always been football. Aged 14 years he played for Blackburn Rovers Football Club for a year, before representing Great Britain Catholic Schoolboys aged 17-18 years, as well as Merseyside County under 19’s. Whilst at Cambridge University he was awarded two ‘Blues’ after playing in two ‘Varsity’ matches.

In June 2016 he celebrates 40 years as a police officer. In this time, whilst a member of Merseyside Police Football Team in his late 20s, he also played for Lancashire County FA before going on to represent the English and British Police Football Teams for 10 years (1981-90) where he won many annual tournaments.

A lifelong Everton fan, Steve played in the England Police v Scotland Police football match in 1986 at Goodison Park, scoring a goal at the Park End and winning the match 2-0. He remains a season ticket holder, with his son Adam, and regularly enjoys watching his team play.

In 1989, Steve captained the British Police Football Team in the European Police Championships winning the Tournament outright, proudly lifting the European Championship trophy at Bloomfield Road, the home of Blackpool Football Club, beating Italy 1-0. Steve was also chosen as the ‘Player of the Tournament’.

Whilst he no longer plays football, Steve has been Chairman of the Police Sport UK Football Section since 2003 and is Chairman of Police Sport UK, which covers 34 different sporting disciplines. He is also the senior UK representative on the USPE (Union Sportive des Polices d’Europe) Council.

His other commitments include being President of Lancashire Boys and Girls Clubs and Vice-President of Lancashire Outward Bound Association.

Commenting on receiving the award, Mr Finnigan said: “I have to say it was a total shock. I’d been asking my staff throughout the day for more information about who had won the award, as I like to prepare beforehand, and I now know that they were avoiding me to keep it a surprise! I have presented this award to many great sportsmen and women over the years and I am genuinely honoured to have been nominated and to receive it this year.

“Sport is a real passion of mine and I fully believe it is beneficial in terms of community engagement, team building and leadership, as well as the physical and mental health and wellbeing of our officers and staff. Most people won’t know of my footballing past and, whilst I’ve hung up my own boots, I am still an avid supporter of Everton FC and of all sport across ‘Police Sport UK’. To be recognised for that commitment is a real honour.”

Lancashire Constabulary Sports Club Secretary, Steve Broadbent, said: “The County Club management committee were unanimous that Steve should be voted the Lancashire Constabulary ‘Sports Personality of the Year 2015/2016’.

“There is no question that Steve is a true sportsman through and through. He has played sport to an extremely high standard and continues to keep himself fit and healthy. Aside of this, he has been a great ambassador of police sport, involved in the continued improvement and development of police sport over a considerable number of years and still continues to do so with relentless dedication and passion.”

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