Liverpool supporter Paul Rice has posthumously been named the Standard Chartered Fan of the Month for January.
Paul sadly passed away last month after a long battle with illness, but such was his dedication and unswerving commitment to Liverpool Football Club and the city of Liverpool, his nomination for this month's award won the unanimous backing of our judging panel.
Kop legend Ian Rush said: "It's a great loss to lose such an avid supporter and good all-round guy like Paul. The tributes that have flooded in since his passing are a sign of his popularity amongst fans, may he rest in peace."
Tony Barrett from The Times added: "Legendary status is bestowed far too easily in modern times but in Paul's case it is hard to see how he could be considered anything other than a legend in the eyes of his fellow Liverpool supporters. For everything he did for them and for everything he did for the club he loved, Paul is a wholly fitting recipient of the award because he epitomised the very best qualities of a Liverpool fan."
Standard Chartered's Gavin Laws commented: "There can be no other choice this month. Paul's dedication to his Club and his city will remain an inspiration to those who knew and loved him for many years to come. He is a fitting winner of this month's award and we hope it will bring some comfort to his family and friends at this difficult time."
Paul chaired the inaugural meeting of the Spirit of Shankly (SOS) Supporters' Union before being elected as Chair and then Vice-Chair and Lifetime Vice-President in recognition of his work for the organisation.
More recently he was elected to the newly formed Liverpool FC Supporters' Committee, where he was chosen to represent fans in the Merseyside area.
Upon hearing the news of his death last month, Liverpool Managing Director Ian Ayre said: "I was fortunate to have known Paul personally and he was a true fan, and also an excellent businessman. Paul was a leading figure in the representations between the Club and the fans in our ownership issues some time back and I had huge respect for the way he conducted himself in my dealings with him."
Paul's parents will accept the Standard Chartered Fan of the Month award on behalf of their son at a presentation ceremony in Liverpool over the coming days.
Nominations are now being invited for the February Fan of the Month.
Do you, or someone you know, demonstrate an exceptional passion for the club and what it means to be a Liverpool fan? Has your dedication led you to travel the furthest? Work the hardest? Or go the extra mile in your support? Do you know the kind of fan that makes this Club special by helping those around them? Do you ensure that others never have to walk alone? Is there someone within the Liverpool fan community that is an unsung hero that you think deserves recognition?
This is your chance to tell us. Please email email@example.com, telling us in no more than 250 words how you are committed, or how you are inspired by someone else's commitment.