Rochdale Online People of the Year 2017 - sponsored by Deckers

Date published: 26 December 2017

Such is the scope of what makes up the news on Rochdale Online that it gives a uniquely broad insight into the people and happenings in the borough, and with this being the season of goodwill we want to focus on the good people who have been in the news this year and give them the recognition they deserve.

Take a (metaphorical) bow the following... and we will contact you with details of how to claim your prize - courtesy of Deckers - a three course meal for two from the early bird menu at The Crimble ( or Royal Toby (

Person of the Year

Samatha Smith
Samantha Smith

Goes to Samantha Smith for her incredible fortitude in the face of her brain and spinal cord being crushed under the weight of her own skull and needing to raise huge sums of money for life saving treatment, that she subsequently underwent in America.

Sports Person(s) of the Year

Mia Linnik-Holden and Andrei Toader
Mia Linnik-Holden and Andrei Toader

Goes to Mia Linnik-Holden (14) and Andrei Toader (15) who became the U16 Ballroom World Champions at the World Dance Nationals. The dedicated duo took first place during the finals for their waltz, tango and foxtrot, beating couples from Ukraine, Russia and Iceland to the title.

Community Person of the Year

Sohail Ahmad
Sohail Ahmad

Goes to Sohail Ahmad, manager at Deeplish Community Centre, for the quantity and quality of the community focused programmes, workshops and events organised and hosted throughout the year.

Business Person of the Year

Carnegie Library building in Castleton
Carnegie Library building in Castleton

Goes to Nick Crewe for the renovation of the Carnegie Library building and for saving Castleton Baths. Mr Crewe purchased the most prestigious building in Castleton, which had been derelict for 10 years, and set about a high quality refurbishment before going on to take over Castleton Baths via a community asset transfer which has seen the baths refurbished and reopened for the benefit of the local community.

Councillor of the Year

Billy Sheerin
Billy Sheerin

Goes to Mr Castleton, as he is affectionately known, Billy Sheerin, who played a vital role in convincing the Council to accept the offer of Nick Crewe to rescue Castleton baths for the local community.

There have of course been so many others who have made the news in a positive way this year that choosing just one for each category was an incredibly difficult task, so to all you unnamed heroes and heroines we tip our hats and extend our thanks and admiration.

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