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Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Thursday, 18 November 2010
Liverpool handballer awarded unsung hero title

John Jacobson is known around the country for his commitment to handball

A Liverpool man who has been coaching handball for 42 years has been named the BBC's North West unsung sporting hero for 2010.

John Jacobson, 56, will now represent the region in the national Unsung Hero final in December.

He gained his interest at school and now coaches to national standard.

He's played at a local and national level and has even been a member of the Great Britain Handball team at the Olympic Games.

Mr Jacobson is known around the country for his total commitment to the boys, girls, amen and women who take part in the game.

It is estimated that over the years he has trained a mentored more than 1,500 players. He's currently said to be influential in supplying Merseyside players for Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics.

At the height of his playing career he captained Great Britain against Germany in 1978.

John coaches twice a week at Garston Village Hall. On Tuesdays he looks after 14 to 50 year olds and on Thursdays it's the turn of seven to 14 year olds.

For the past 20 years he has been taking the team to Liverpool Prison to play inmates and help with their rehabilitation and eventual release back into society.

The Judging panel for the north west unsung hero award 2010 were:

Gordon Burns - Chairman; Nigel Dixon - BBC North West Unsung hero 2009; Simon Williams - Regional Audience Council member; Sarah Collins - BBC Radio Manchester; Ian Kennedy - BBC Radio Merseyside.

The regional Unsung Hero Award winners will find out who has taken the national award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2010 event taking place the LG Arena in Birmingham on Sunday, 19 December.



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