GORNAL Athletic boss Ian Rowe says he is “humbled” after being crowned Dudley News Sports Personality of the Year.

After hundreds cast their vote over the festive period on our online poll, Rowe came out on top, taking 44 per cent of the vote.

Rowe, who led the Peacocks to promotion from the West Midlands League Premier Division last term, says the award has left him “over the moon.”

He said: “I don’t really know what to say.

“I’d like to thank all the people at Gornal, the coaching staff and particularly the players. I’m really chuffed.

“As far as the award is concerned I feel it’s a tribute to everyone who gives up their time to be involved in grassroots sport.”

Rowe paid particular tribute to Dudley Town chairman Stephen Austin, who came third in the poll with 24 per cent.

Austin played a major role in Rowe getting his first managerial post at the Robins in 2008.

He said: “Stephen was the person who gave me my first opportunity and I will always be extremely grateful.

“I was a player coming towards the end of my career and he saw something in me.

“He fought my corner and played a big part in getting me the job.

“He was someone who played a big part in my life for five or six years.

“Without him Dudley Town would struggle to function and to win this award in front of people like him is very humbling.”

Dudley Kingswinford RFC’s Stefan Shillingford came second with 27 per cent, with gymnastics coach Michelle Baker back in fourth.