AN experienced Bromsgrove cobbler put his best foot forward at a prestigious competition for shoe repairers and stamped his quality mark.

Martin Connellan scooped joint runner-up at the Shoe Repairer of the Year contest which attracted more than 3,000 entrants.

It is the third consecutive year he has received the honour.

Martin, who runs the Bromsgrove Cobbler, in Church Street, set up the business ten years ago and he has 22 years of experience in the trade.

The 40-year-old has been in the premier league of the UK's top 12 repairers for five years and was nominated for this award by his customers.

Martin said he was "punch drunk" by the news.

He proudly noted all leather soles brought to his shop are sewn on, never tucked or nailed on.

The annual contest is organised by the British Shoe Repair Council, the Society of Master Shoe Repairers and the Federation of Shoe Repairs Suppliers.

Customers told the judges that Martin's service was reliable, always cheerful and value for money.

Martin, who is married and has two young children, is now busy adjusting boots ready for the winter season.

He said he has noticed an unusual boom this year - replacing high stilettos for men's boots.