Holt newspaper ‘boy’ Marcus makes the news and heads for national award ceremony
Delivering papers and saving lives are all in a day's work for modest hero Marcus Mears.
In the past year Mr Mears' swift actions have saved two elderly people in life-threatening situations and he has helped police catch thieves involved in an early-making break-in at a Holt High Street shop.
Next Tuesday Mr Mears, 38, of Charles Road, Holt, will be among three national finalists at an awards ceremony in London to find the News Deliverer of the Year.
He was nominated by his boss Darren Veal, of Holt toy shop and newsagent Starlings, where Mr Mears has worked for the past seven years, seven days a week.
'He never lets you down - I can totally rely on him in all weathers and he's always on the lookout to help elderly customers. They know they can ask him for help,' said Mr Veal.
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During last winter's freezing conditions Mr Mears was out on one of his six rounds in the early morning when he came across an elderly woman who had slipped on ice and broken her hip on the car park, near Chapel Yard.
He rang for help and waited with the woman until a paramedic arrived.
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On another occasion Mr Mears raised the alarm when he realised that there were three days' newspapers blocking an elderly customer's letterbox. When police arrived and broke in they found that the man had suffered a fall.
And in summer 2010 Mr Mears was walking to work one morning when he saw 'Four 'iffy' men' driving off down Holt High Street. They had broken into a shop close to Starlings. He memorised the numberplate and it later helped police make arrests.
Mr Veal, who had already experienced a number of break-ins, had been threatened with a baseball bat by one of the balaclava-wearing thieves as he had arrived for work.
Traumatised by the incident, he asked for early-morning support and Mr Mears has voluntarily started work at 5.30am ever since.
He regularly picks up odd bits of shopping and does errands for elderly and disabled people, especially in bad weather.
'I can't see them in a muddle - you never know when you will want help yourself,' he said.
The award ceremony is organised by the National Federation of Retail Newsagents.