Two Bradford paperboys were recognised for their devotion to duty by being crowned Telegraph & Argus deliverers of the year last night.

Tom Wood, 16, and Ryan Softley, 14, received bikes courtesy of our competition sponsors, the National Federation of Retail Newsagents and Wibsey Cycle Centre, for their efforts.

The awards were decided by nominations from T&A readers, many of whom praised the dedication and reliability of the two winners.

Tom, who won newsagent deliverer of the year, has done his paper round for Ramji News in Wibsey for nearly four years and is described as a “very familiar face in the village”.

His customers described him as “reliable and dependable”, and “a young man who is always prompt and polite”.

“I’m really pleased to get this feedback from the people I deliver to,” he said. “It’s nice to be noticed and get praised for what I do. I have to get up at 5.30am most days, but I don’t want to let my regular customers down.”

Ryan, who won his award for direct delivery for the T&A, has been involved for little more than a year in a round in Bierley that had proved problematic in the past, with paperboys letting the service down.

His customers said he was “always smiling and cheerful”, and “someone who never misses a delivery whatever the weather”.

“I’d like to thank everyone who nominated me,” he said. “It feels really good to win. I enjoy the job, and not even the rain can put me off.”

Paul Holliman, who has been running Wibsey Cycle Centre in Fair Road for 25 years, said as a former paperboy himself, he was delighted to sponsor the competition.

Stephen Hunter, who runs Old Road News at Horton Bank Top and sponsored the awards in his role as secretary of the Bradford branch of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, said: “As newsagents, we couldn’t do without these deliverers.”

Robert Drummond, distribution manager at the T&A, said the nominations received by customers highlighted the importance of the service the deliverers provide.