A man who was nominated as a local hero has said he is "just a normal bloke" after hundreds came to Bury town centre to watch him turn on the Christmas lights.

Les Edwards, 66, chairman of Seedfield Sports Junior Football Club, was chosen to turn on the Christmas lights following The Rock’s campaign to find a local hero for the job.

He was put forward by members of the community for all his work at the club.

Bury Times: Christmas light switch on at The Rock

Speaking about him, one parent said: “Without Les and his dedication for this football club many children wouldn’t be able to do what they love.

“Please consider this selfless man because he really doesn’t know how much we value him as a person and what he does for our children.”

Ahead of the switch-on, Les, said: “I’m just a normal bloke, I’ve got a lot of good people around me. It’s not just me, it’s everybody. I just want kids to be able to play football.”

Bury Times: Christmas light switch on at The Rock

After being chosen, hundreds of people gathered at The Rock Shopping Centre for the switch-on and a community concert on November 4, running from 2pm to 5pm.

The event featured groups from the Carol Godby Theatre Workshop, Bury Music Service and performers who have been supported by The Rock’s current partner charity, Liv’s Trust.

The line-up was hosted by former Tower FM breakfast presenter Jon Holling and took place on a stage in St John’s Square, in front of The Range.

Bury Times: Christmas light switch on at The Rock

When the lights were switched on the Manchester Survivors Choir took to the stage and performed some Christmas classics as the crowd sang along.

The Rock centre director Arnold Wilcox-Wood said: “We were thrilled to be able to host our community Christmas concert and lights switch-on event after so many years without one.

“It has always been a very popular event and this year was no exception.

Bury Times: Christmas light switch on at The Rock

“This year we really wanted to shine a light on the local community by showcasing local talent and celebrating local people – it was heart-warming to watch so many talented youngsters take to the stage and wonderful to see a crowd of smiling, happy faces.

“It was our pleasure to invite Les to turn on the lights, he is a great ambassador for the town.”

Arnold added: “We are so grateful to every single performer for taking part. We couldn’t have put on this show without them.”

Bury Times: Christmas light switch on at The Rock

The switch-on event was free to attend and marks the beginning of the Christmas season for The Rock. 

A mystery gift photo opportunity will also arrive in the centre in December and visitors will be encouraged to share their festive snaps for the chance to win a Christmas prize.