AA recovery patrol Lee Newton narrowly missed out on being crowned the public face of the UK’s biggest motoring organisation at an awards ceremony at the weekend.
Judging for AA Recovery Patrol of the Year – the crème de la crème of the AA’s recovery patrols – began in June with regional heats across the UK.
In July, the five finalists – including Lee, who lives in Oakham – were put through an intensive day of technical and driving tests, panel interview and mock live radio interviews at the AA’s training centre in Leicestershire.
The 43-year-old, who is married with four children and two grandchildren, joined the AA around two years ago after 22 years’ service in the Army, including four operational tours of duty.
In his time, he’s recovered all manner of cars from a classic Citroen HY van which had been converted into a sandwich bar, to a classic Mini Cooper police car from a rally.
Outside of work, he’s a keen motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys spectating at rallies and races, as well as camping holidays and a spot of DIY.
In 2010, whilst deployed in Iraq, Lee raised £6,000 for a school in Edith Weston and the Help for Heroes charity. His dream car is an Aston Martin Vanquish.
Lee says: “It’s great to be recognised for doing the job I love. One of the best things about it is the variety – each day brings different challenges and it’s very satisfying getting the member out of a tight spot and back home.”
Mick Easom, Lee’s area manager, says: “Recovery patrols spend the most time on the road with our members, so the job demands a lot of dedication, skill, tact and humour. Lee has these in abundance.”
Tony Doran from Stockbridge Village, Liverpool, was crowned this year’s Recovery Patrol of the Year.