A war hero from York who is an inspiration to many has been awarded the top honour in this year’s York Community Pride Awards.

Normandy veteran Ken Cooke, 98, was named as the York Community Pride Person of the Year sponsored by Hiscox.  

He is the sole surviving York Normandy veteran and is well known across the city for his commitment to educating future generations.

Ken is also the honorary president of the York Inset Scooter Club.

He took part in the D-Day landings at Gold Beach as a young Green Howards private 79 years ago.

A video was made for the award where those close to Ken shared how he inspired them.

On screen Ken’s friend and fellow scooter club member Nick Beilby told the war hero’s well known saying: “Every day is an adventure."

Taking to the stage, Ken revealed he was completely unaware that he had been nominated for the award.

“I am definitely surprised,” he said. “This isn’t the first time this has happened to me - these surprises keep coming.”

York Press: Ken's speech filled the crowd with laughter Ken's speech filled the crowd with laughter (Image: Simon Godley)

The veteran’s sense of humour is well known in York. Within minutes the crowd was filled with laughter as Ken turned to Nick and joked: “He keeps dropping me in it. I can’t wait to drop him in it.”

ITV presenter Kate Walby was hosting the awards and asked Ken if he was a local celebrity.

Ken replied: “Well more or less so.”

York Press: Ken Cooke and Nick Beilby pose for photographs at the awards in YorkKen Cooke and Nick Beilby pose for photographs at the awards in York (Image: Simon Godley)

Nick joined Ken onstage and said: “He doesn’t just inspire me, he inspires many.

“He continues to do things - nothing is ever a problem. He never says no, he just gets on with it.”