Oct 31 2012 By Alix Culbertson
Alan Watkinson (right) winner of the Teacher of the Year Award at the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards 2012 with Roy Hodgson and Mo Farah (Photo credit: Ian Vogler, Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards)
THE MAN who inspired Olympic legend Mo Farah to start running was crowned Teacher of the Year at the Pride of Britain Awards.
The creator of the mobot's ex-coach, Alan Watkinson, 48, received a surprise nomination for the award from Mo himself at the double Olympic gold medal winner's old school, Isleworth & Syon's prize giving on September 20.
He won the accolade on Monday night at the celebrity studded awards bash.
The ex-coach of one of the biggest stars of this Summer's Games said: "Mo and Roy Hodgson presented me with the award which was a great honour. I was surrounded by people who had done so many courageous things, it was just amazing. I thought I was going to be really nervous but Carol Vordeman, who hosted it, made everyone feel at ease."
The father-of-one also got to meet David Cameron at Downing Street on Tuesday along with all the other winners.
Mr Watkinson can take full credit for encouraging Mo to take up running at the age of 15 instead of his passion at the time, football, but he is still very modest about the influence he has had on his best pupil to date.
When he received his nomination in September, the PE teacher said: "I was shocked! I knew something was up because everyone was acting a bit odd but when I opened the envelope I could not believe it, it was very much out of the blue.
"To have one of my former pupils achieving so much was enough for me but to be nominated for the Pride of Britain Awards for something I have had the time of my life doing is just incredible!"