TALENTED cricketer Ben Foakes has been crowned Tendring Male Sports Personality of the Year.

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The 19-year-old, who last year signed his first professional contract with Essex, was recognised at a special ceremony in Clacton on Tuesday evening.

The all-rounder, who has already turned out for England Under-19s, was unable to attend the event at Princes Theatre, but Graham Pyke, from Essex County Cricket Club, accepted the award on his behalf.

The former Tendring Technology College pupil, whose family home is in Kirby-le-Soken, is currently with the England Performance Squad at Loughborough, prior to a tour of India.

Karate champion Chris Harris was second behind Ben, while Sonny Chaney, of Tendring Technology College’s volleyball team, was third.

Another young volleyball star, Jessica Lane, took top honours in the under-18 female category.

Jessica, 15, another product of Tendring Technology College, has already been called up to the England Under-17 team.

She is believed to be the first female at this age from Tendring to get an England cap for volleyball.

Jessica fought off competition from Millie McIlraith from Kirby Tennis Club and Chloe Haywood from Colchester Rugby Club, who came second and third respectively.

Harwich boxer Alfie Smith, 17, topped the under-18 male category ahead of sailor Hobie Wright and volleyball player Mitchell Lawrence.

The Coach of the Year Award went to Mark Salter of Walton Judo Club while Little Oakley Football Club’s Michael Good was named Volunteer of the Year.

There was a Lifetime Achievement Award for table tennis player Sheila Howe, who has amassed a remarkable 53 titles in the Clacton and District League over the last 42 years.

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