A SUNDERLAND soldier rubbed shoulders with royalty when he took a trip to the palace.
Mick Clark, 38, travelled to Buckingham Palace to be presented with the MBE by Prince Charles.
The dad was named in the New Year’s Honours List for his drive to help military charities by co-founding, Rally for Heroes, which sees him and other fund-raisers travel the length and breadth of Europe, covering five miles for each fallen service man and woman who has died since the beginning of the Afghanistan conflict.
Mick, who was accompanied on his big day by wife Paula and son Nathan, said it was something he will never forget.
He said: “It was an amazingly proud day for me and my family to be able to attend Buckingham Palace. I would like to thank everyone that has supported me with Rally for Heroes over the last five years.
“This kind of all started by getting the Pride of Wearside award in November 2012, so thank you to the Sunderland Echo too.” Mick, who is a member of the Adjutant Generals Corps, currently serving with the 1st Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment in Paderborn, Germany, said being awarded an MBE came a complete shock.
He said: “It’s really humbling, as it’s not just me who puts the work in.
“This is recognition for the event itself, and it helps to raise awareness of what we do.
“It’s amazing what difference three letters can make.”
Since Rally for Heroes was started, it has raised almost £155,000 for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, which since 1885 has been providing lifelong support to military families.
During this year’s rally, which takes place in June, a convoy of 50 cars will travel across 11 countries over a distance of 2,600 miles in eight days, aiming to raise £100,000 for the charity.