Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has today announced that legendary footballer Steven Gerrard is to receive the Freedom of the City of Liverpool.
The city’s highest civic honour is to be presented to Steven for his contribution to national and international football and his charity work which helps disadvantaged children across the UK.
The Mayor’s nomination is expected to be formally agreed on Wednesday 18 January at a City Council meeting, with the Freedom ceremony taking place later in the year.
Mayor Anderson said: “The Freedom of Liverpool is a special honour and one which we award only to exceptional individuals.
“Steven has had a fantastic career and is widely regarded as one of the most successful midfielders of his generation. But it’s not just his sporting excellence which has made him the icon he is today.
“Whether you’re a red or blue, I’m sure everyone will agree he is a fantastic ambassador for the city and his charity work has made a huge difference to thousands of young people, particularly disadvantaged children in Liverpool.
“Steven is an inspirational figure for young and old alike and I’m delighted to be able to recommend to council that we make this award for everything he has given to our city.”
Steven Gerrard said: “I was stunned and overwhelmed when I heard my name was being put forward by the Mayor to receive this honour.
“Liverpool is my home city and so to be acknowledged in this way leaves me speechless. To even think about getting such an award makes me feel very humble and of course immensely proud.”
Also being nominated is Tony McGann, Chair of the Eldonian Community Based Housing Association, who successfully campaigned for the regeneration of the local neighbourhood in Vauxhall in the 1970s and has been a key figure in the area ever since.
Tony said: “I am proud and delighted to be nominated for Freedom of the City. All I want to do when I go away is come back to Liverpool. Our people are the best in the world and to be recognised by your home city is amazing.”
The Eldonians Community Based Housing Association is also among a number of organisations being recommended to be added to the Freedom Roll of Association. The others are:
103 Regiment Royal Artillery – a reserve unit which is close-knit and thriving regiment which trains with some of the army’s most advanced systems.
Bradbury Fields – formerly known as the Liverpool Voluntary Society for the Blind, this organisation is dedicated to working with blind and partially sighted people, helping them to become part of their local communities.
Cream – formed in Liverpool in the early 1990s, it is now one of the world’s leading event promoters, part of Live Nation Entertainment. It has defined itself as one of the world’s most instantly recognisable youth brands and a global leader in the electronic music market.
Medicash – one of the UK’s oldest and largest healthcare insurance providers, based in Liverpool. Once known as the Hospital Saturday and Sunday Funds and later the Penny in the Pound Fund, it also helped fund local hospitals in Victorian times and has donated £70 million to charity since 1871.
Girl Guiding Merseyside – the first Guide Unit opened in the area in 1913 and it enables girls and young women to fulfil their potential and to take an active and responsible role in society.
Liverpool and District Battalion of the Boys’ Brigade – recently celebrating their 125th anniversary, the brigade brings young people and their communities together, empowering them and encouraging them to make appositive difference.
Merseyside Scouts – helping young people in the region enjoy new adventures, explore the outdoors, interact with others, gain confidence and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Lord Mayor, Councillor Roz Gladden, said: “Steven and Tony and all of the organisations being nominated for Freedom of the City have made an outstanding contribution to life in the city.
“Liverpool is a unique city that is fortunate to have so many fantastic people that spend their lives doing amazing things which make a huge difference to then lives of so many.
“It is right and proper that we formally recognise and celebrate their achievements by awarding them the city’s highest civic honour.”
The Freedom ceremonies will take place at future dates following consultation with the nominees.