Long-serving Doncaster councillor finally presented with MBE after Covid crisis
A long-serving former Doncaster councillor has finally been presented with his MBE – more than a year after being awarded the honour.
John McHale, who served on Doncaster Council for a number of decades, was made a Member of the British Empire in October 2020 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, he had been unable to collect his honour.
But he has now been able to collect his gong – with tributes pouring in.
Club Doncaster led the tributes with a spokesman saying: “The former councillor has worked tirelessly for the local community for the past 20 years, with the aim of making things better without ever asking for anything in return.
"His achievements are too numerous to list, but he has been a key supporter of Club Doncaster and the work of the Foundation since 2013 when he was on hand to help launch the Foundation’s Premier League Kicks project which provides football provision for at-risk youngsters in the borough.
“John has a real talent of uniting people and show that by working together they can accomplish great things, gain a new level of understanding and mutual respect for other members of the community.
“He has invested an incredible amount of personal energy and dedication into ensuring Doncaster is a safe, secure and welcoming place to live, work and visit. He is affectionately known as “Mr Doncaster” by members of the public and he still cannot walk down the High Street without being recognised and stopped by people from all walks of life.
Chief executive Gavin Baldwin said: “On behalf of everyone at Club Doncaster, I’d like to congratulate John on his achievement. I can’t think of anyone who deserves this accolade more.
“He’s been a long-time supporter of the work our Foundation do and, as a champion of young people’s welfare and encouraging safer neighbourhood areas, supported the Foundation’s Premier League Kicks programme which provides football provisions for people aged 8-18 in high-need areas across the borough and inspires young people and helps them achieve their potential and improve wellbeing.”
Mr McHale, who represented the Town ward for a number of years, was also praised by Doncaster Central MP Dame Rosie Winterton who said she was ‘absolutely delighted’ with the honour for him.