Beswicks Legal Senior Partner and Beswicks Sports Managing Director Gary Mellor received a surprise lifetime achievement accolade at Staffordshire University’s inaugural Business Awards.

The award recognised Gary’s outstanding contribution to the business community, as well as to the legal sector and sports management, regionally, nationally and internationally over a period of four decades.

Having started his career as a Legal Executive, Gary completed his law degree at Staffordshire University attending night classes before qualifying as a dispute resolution lawyer.

His passion for sports and entertainment saw him create a sports, entertainment and media department, which led to the launch of Beswicks Sports, a successful sports management business that specialises in player representation and club consultancy.

Gary is now an internationally-respected sports agent and sports industry adviser with particular experience of football in Europe and soccer in the US.

On receiving his lifetime achievement award Gary said: “It’s an absolute honour to receive this award and also a huge surprise! I personally find it immensely satisfying that we can support entrepreneurs and businesspeople, help people buy and sell property, deal with employment issues, family matters or disputes, while also advising international athletes and organisations.

“I am incredibly proud that both Beswicks Legal and Beswicks Sports continue to grow and develop and I am grateful for this recognition of all that I, and the team at Beswicks, have achieved so far. We will continue to forge ahead in both the legal and sports sectors, taking pride in helping, supporting and advising clients.”

Peter Coates, businessman and chairman of Stoke City Football Club, added: “Gary started from the bottom. That’s where we all start. And it’s a credit to him that he developed his ability and skills and became a senior partner. He’s done very, very well and it’s a great credit to him.”

Simon Woodings, former Partner at Beswicks Legal, said: “Gary is a fiercely loyal kind of guy. Once he’s on your side, he’s completely got your back.”

While entrepreneur, investor and former Director of Burnley Football Club Brendan Flood described Gary as ‘a very special man’.