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13 November 2014

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You are in: Leicester > People > Your Stories > Making Leicester Proud

Englebert Humperdinck, Sue Townsend and Alan Birchenall

Making Leicester Proud

Three of Leicester's most famous citizens were awarded the Freedom of the City on 27 April 2009, and BBC Leicester was there to celebrate the day with them. Listen to the highlights...

Three Leicestershire celebrities and respected ambassadors were given the Honorary Freedom of Leicester at De Montfort Hall on Monday.

Singer Engelbert Humperdinck, author Sue Townsend and Leicester City legend Alan Birchenall were all chosen for "the distinction they have brought to the city of Leicester."

All three have excelled in their own fields and worked hard for the city and charities, so each deserved the honour, according to Leicester City Council.

Roll of Honorary Freedom of Leicester.

Listen & Photos: Highlights

BBC Leicester was at the glitzy event to bring you all the ceremonial happenings as Engelbert, Sue and The Birch officially received their rare and coveted honour.

Listen to the highlights and take a look at the pictures from the ceremony...

Listen: Leicester's New Ambassadors

Listen to the trio on their thoughts on why they had been chosen and how important the city is to them...

Engelbert Humperdinck was rewarded for a pop career spanning 40 years, as well as his charity work.

"I do what I can for the city of Leicester and I've been doing it since I've had a name to do it with."

Englebert Humperdinck, Singer

He was delighted with his honour: "I am extremely honoured because I do what I can for the city of Leicester and I've been doing it since I've had a name to do it with.

Sue Townsend was born in Leicester and wrote her first Adrian Mole book at her home on the Saffron Lane estate.

She said she's always proud to be connected to the city:

"I always think Leicester doesn't impose itself on you. It's like a blank canvass. You can be what you like and it somehow gives your imagination freedom."

Alan Birchenall joined Leicester City in 1971 and was at the club for six great years.

After his playing career ended, he became an ambassador for the City. He was awarded an MBE for his charity work in 2002.

Alan said he's proud and wishes his parents were alive to see him receive his award.

The Freedom of the City Scroll

Listen: Interview with Organiser

BBC Leicester's Julie Mayer went to speak Liz Reid-Jones, the organiser of event...

"It's not something that happens everyday", explains Liz.

"They were presented with a scroll which is handwritten.

"The three special guests have played such a huge part in the city."

The famous personalities have now joined other recipients who have been awarded in the past.

Footballer and presenter Gary Linekar was given the Freedom of the City in 1992.

Other recipients include Earl Haig (1922), Rt Hon Ramsey MacDonald (1929), Archbishop Lang of Canterbury (1935) Baron Janner (1971), and most recently Sir David and Lord Richard Attenborough (1990) and Sir Alec Jeffreys (1992).

last updated: 28/04/2009 at 16:50
created: 27/04/2009

You are in: Leicester > People > Your Stories > Making Leicester Proud

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