THE CORRESPONDENT walked away winners from the recent O2 Media Awards North West.
Gary received a Stand Out Award after battling back from life-threatening injuries and being in a coma for six weeks following an unprovoked attack in November 2015.
He did not know he was going to get one until host and BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin was halfway through explaining why.
But the prize, which he was nominated for by his colleagues and was presented by Sky Sports’ former rugby league commentators Eddie Hemmings and Mike ‘Stevo’ Stephenson, left him amazed.
“I had absolutely no idea,” said Gary, 40. “As my two-word reaction, which cannot be repeated in a family newspaper showed!
“And to receive it from two figures I watched and listened to as a rugby league fan added even more to me.
“I’m humbled to have been put forward for an award, never mind won one, but it’s not so much recognition for me, more for what those around me have done.“I had to learn to walk, talk and swallow again following the attack. To me because I was in the middle of it, the steps didn’t seem that big. I’m just back doing what I did before.
“But if it was not for my wife Gemma, I would be nowhere near where I am today. Without her, I probably wouldn’t be back reporting.”
The Correspondent’s sister title, Saddleworth Independent, picked up a highly commended honour in the Community Newspaper category at the awards, which were held on Thursday, November 7 at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.