Yorkshire’s Tour de France chief Gary Verity named Yorkshire’s Man of the Year 2014

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire.

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The man who brought the Tour de France to the county has been named Yorkshire’s Man of the Year 2014.

Gary Verity received the award at a star-studded ceremony in Leeds last night. Coronation Street star Helen Worth, who plays Gail Platt, was named Woman of the Year.

Mr Verity, 48, who is chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, had the idea of bringing the world’s biggest annual sporting event to Yorkshire while shaving one morning.

This July, his outlandish idea became a reality and 2.8million people turned out to watch the world’s greatest cyclists travel through the county.

“I’m sure there are loads of other people who should have this award before me and I feel very humble about it,” he said.

Mr Verity and Mrs Worth, 63, received their honours at the 26th annual Yorkshire Awards at the Hilton in Leeds.

At the awards, presented by BBC Look North presenters Harry Gration and Amy Garcia, York-born actor Dame Judi Dench picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sheffield boxer Kell Brook, Educating Yorkshire star Jonny Mitchell, from Thornhill Community Academy in Dewsbury, VP PLC, Reece Dinsdale, Adrian Woods, Amanda Owen and Judy Bell were also among the winners.

Sir Rodney Walker, chair of the Yorkshire Awards committee, said: “This great county of ours is full of very special people and organisations and we want to celebrate the work that they do.”

He added: “We have a lot to shout about, not least this year’s wonderful Grand Depart.”