Ryhill Dad Jeff is top of the pops

FAMILY and friends of a construction worker from Ryhill raised the roof to make sure he was named as 2009's Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express Dad of the Year.

Dad-of-three Jeff Baxter, 41, was nominated by his eldest daughter Kelly, 19, who said: "He's there for us all. He's taught us right from wrong. He's one in a million."

Mr Baxter, who works as a roofer for Wakefield and District Housing, was voted as top of the pops from a choice of 14 dads from across the district.

His prize was a crate of Leeds Brewery Ale and a pair of tickets to the Superleague Grand Final in October from the Express Out 'n' About Club.

He said he had been shocked and pleased to be nominated, adding: "I finished work on the Friday and came home from work, I brought the paper as usual and went to look at the pictures on the page to see if I knew anybody, then my picture appeared!

"I was quite pleased with it. I have had a bit of stick off a few of my friends at work, but it's proved to be worth it in the end."

Mr Baxter is also dad to Danielle, 17, and Matthew,10. He said being a dad was special, adding: "My kids make me proud every day – the things they do, the things they achieve.

"They are the heart and soul of my life, they keep me going."

He said he and his wife Nicola parented as a team, and that the family worked well together.

"It's my philosophy that if you work as a team life becomes much easier. We all get on and we have some good times," he said.

Nominator Miss Baxter, a hairdresser in Hemsworth, said her dad's friends and family had all been voting for his win. She said: "I decided to nominate him because I just thought it would be something nice for him. I thought we would do something a bit extra for him this year. It's great he's won, it's wonderful, I know he really will be pleased."