It was a grey and miserable May evening outside.

But there was an unbelievable warmth inside the John Smith’s Stadium as tales of courage, compassion and commitment unfolded.

The 17th Examiner Pride of Huddersfield Awards featured astonishing and heartwarming stories from young and old.

There were tears, laughter and cheers for nominee after nominee, none more so that when the family of brave fundraiser Kamal Aftab climbed on stage to receive a posthumous award on his behalf.

Kamal Aftab's parents Rafiq Aftab (left) and Khawar Sultana receive his award from Michaela Brook of Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd
Kamal Aftab's parents Rafiq Aftab (left) and Khawar Sultana receive his award from Michaela Brook of Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd

They received a standing ovation which was thoroughly deserved.

Look back at videos and pictures of all the winners on our live blog which ran through the night!

There was also a standing ovation when the Achievement Award went to Ken Davy for his services to sport, charity and business over very many years.

Achievement award winner, Ken Davy with Carl Sykes of Syngenta (centre left) Andy Hirst and Nina Hossain.
Achievement award winner, Ken Davy with Carl Sykes of Syngenta (centre left) Andy Hirst and Nina Hossain.

And there were also cheers from many as the businessman highlighted the many attributes of Huddersfield - and suggested Kirklees Council would do better if it was re-named as Greater Huddersfield.

The 74-year-old great grandfather – who has no plans to retire from running his highly successful financial services company SimplyBiz – has averaged a day a week since 1968 doing voluntary activities. In the mid 1990s he became chairman of Huddersfield Giants, playing a major role in their success in recent times and in 2003 he saved Huddersfield Town from liquidation.

Ken Davy speaks at the awards evening
Ken Davy speaks at the awards evening

In 2006 Ken invested a significant sum to establish the charitable Huddersfield Community Trust to build the children’s sports and leisure facility The Zone which provides a fun, fitness and sports facility for children and young people. The key theme is healthy living and since 2008 more than 750,000 youngsters and over 400,000 adults have visited it.

He also helped set up the One Community Foundation for Huddersfield and donated a significant family endowment called The Davy Fund to the foundation which supports children and young people in sporting activities across Kirklees.

READ MORE: Pride of Huddersfield Awards 2016: Meet the nominees for Sports Personality

READ MORE: Pride of Huddersfield Awards 2016: Meet the nominees for Community Project of the Year

In his acceptance speech Ken, who paid a moving tribute to his wife Jennifer, said: “Any job is what you make it, as is life.

“Huddersfield has been very kind to me. It is a great town, big enough to have all we need and small enough to allow us to get to know all the organisations and the community.

“We have a world-class university and world-class businesses with a reputation like no other."

He stressed again he had no intention of stepping down and urged others to seek success in business and in life.

And he paid tribute to the nominees at the event.

“What a wonderful evening. I have been moved by the stories of the selfless work of so many people who do so many worthwhile things.”

Achievement award winner, Ken Davy with his wife Jennifer and family at the awards evening.
Achievement award winner, Ken Davy with his wife Jennifer and family at the awards evening.

There was a new award this year decided by the judges which was the Special Award for Outstanding Community Spirit which went to the Community Foundation For Calderdale.

Within hours of devastating floods swamping Calderdale on Boxing Day the foundation had set up a fund to help people whose homes and businesses had been badly damaged. That fund raised more than £3m.

The floodwater affected 2,800 homes and 1,500 businesses and the foundation gave out well over 2,000 grants and has now set up two schemes to raise more money to help people in the Calder Valley if flooding as severe as this happens again in the future.

Steve Duncan and Emma Woods-Bolger celebrate the award for their work with the Community Foundation for Calderdale
Steve Duncan and Emma Woods-Bolger celebrate the award for their work with the Community Foundation for Calderdale

Foundation chief executive Steve Duncan and marketing manager Emma Woods-Bolger received the awards and Mr Duncan said: “So many people have come forward to support us.

“It is incredible that we have been chosen to collect this first award and I am so proud.

“The work still goes on; people still need help to recover and there will be floods again.

“It has been so moving to see the help we have got from charities, from churches, from Rotary Clubs and Freemasons.”

Rosie Cleave, of the NSPCC, won the services to charity award presented by Charles Smith, of Shepley Spring
Rosie Cleave, of the NSPCC, won the services to charity award presented by Charles Smith, of Shepley Spring

The awards evening was hosted by ITN newscaster Nina Hossain, back in her home town, and Andrew Hirst, Head of Content at the Examiner.

And again it was hailed a great success in a town full of so many success stories.

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