Noddy Holder from Slade given freedom of Walsall

Noddy Holder made Freeman of Walsall

Related Stories

Former Slade star Noddy Holder has been given the freedom of Walsall.

Mr Holder, who was born in the Caldmore area, was made an honorary freeman of the borough at the town hall.

Slade had a string of hits in their 1970s and early 80s heyday, including Merry Xmas Everybody and Coz I Luv You. Mr Holder has also acted and provided TV voiceovers.

He told a packed council chamber he was "thrilled" and "proud" to receive the honour.

"I only wish my mum and dad were alive to be there. They both lived in Walsall all of their lives," he added.

'Flown the flag'

During the ceremony, which took place in the council chamber, Mr Holder, 68, was presented with a silver casket containing a scroll which recorded his admission as an honorary freeman of the borough.

Some fans watched from the chamber's public gallery while others viewed the proceedings on a screen in the town hall.

Accepting the award, Mr Holder said he hoped it would raise the profile of the arts in the West Midlands, which he had aimed to promote throughout his 50-year career.

Noddy Holder and Pete Smith Mayor of Walsall Pete Smith said Mr Holder had brought international recognition to the town

"I think I've flown the flag for the West Midlands and the Black Country during the last 50 years," he said.

"The Midlands has some of the best artists, produced great bands, great comedians, great dancers, but people outside the Midlands don't recognise them for it," he said.

How it feels to be free

Robbie Williams

Plenty of rock and pop legends have been granted freedom of their home towns

'Rock legend'

Mayor Pete Smith presented Mr Holder with the honour and said it was given in "grateful recognition of service to the entertainment and music industry for the last 50 years".

"He was, and still is, a down-to-Earth guy, proud of his Walsall and Black Country roots and connections", he said.

Council leader Mike Bird said he was "absolutely delighted and very proud that Noddy Holder has accepted this honour."

He added it was a "special occasion" for the town.

Afterwards, Mr Holder conducted a short question and answer session with fans.

Mr Holder, who made his singing debut aged seven on stage at Walsall Labour Working Men's Club, has said he still thinks of Walsall as "home" and regularly returns for "a decent curry".

He has lived near Wilmslow, Cheshire, for more than 25 years.

More on This Story

Related Stories

BBC Birmingham & Black Country



22 °C 14 °C

BBC Local Live

    Doctor Who comes to Birmingham 10:19:

    Doctor Who is preparing to take to the stage with live music and a cast of 100 actors and singers - and Daleks.

    Doctor Who live

    The show will tour the UK and will be visiting Birmingham in May next year. Tickets will go on sale on 1 August.

    Girl injured in ring road crash 10:08:

    A 15-year-old girl was seriously injured in a crash on Wolverhampton's ring road last night.

    The teenager was crossing the Ring Road at the Waterloo Road junction, at about 16:30, when she was struck by a Volkswagen Golf.

    Police are appealing for witnesses.

    News on the hour 09:56: Chris Blakemore News editor, BBC WM

    The MP for Meriden, Caroline Spelman, has asked the transport secretary to stop flight path trials being carried out by Birmingham Airport.

    The airport's been testing two new flight paths since May as part of the new runway extension.

    She says there are real problems for local people. Listen live

    Airport response on flight path 09:48:

    Birmingham Airport says in a statement that the new flight path, to the south of the airport, is required as a result of the runway extension which is now open.

    It is aware of a petition circulating in the community and is recording and responding to all correspondence received.

    Villa buyer could be imminent 09:39: Birmingham Mail

    A new owner of Aston Villa could emerge "within a month" following a close season of intense behind the scenes negotiations with potential buyers, it was claimed today.

    Top Headlines
    • Flight path: Trials over Balsall Common
    • Screwdriver attack: Two hunted
    • Listen: BBC WM
    Government lobbied over flight path 09:22: BBC WM

    The government is being lobbied to force Birmingham Airport to stop flight trials over Balsall Common.

    People living there say the noise is making their lives a misery after the tests started in May and, in some instances, planes are flying too close to their houses.

    Caroline Spelman, the MP for Meriden, is asking the transport secretary to stop the trial.

    Police hunt screwdriver attackers 09:06:

    Two capped men lashed out at a Birmingham shop-keeper with a screwdriver when he refused to serve them alcohol.

    screwdriver attackers

    The pair attacked a member of staff at Aston's Express Convenience Store in Birchfield Road just before 23:00 on 29 May.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Det Con Phil Langstone on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

    News on the hour 08:55: Jay Vydelingum Journalist, BBC WM

    A West Midlands MP is calling for an end to flight path trials carried out by Birmingham Airport.

    We'll be hearing from Caroline Spelman, MP for Meridan, in the 09:00 bulletin on BBC WM.

    Bell puts England in strong position 08:44:

    Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell returned to form with a first hundred in almost a year as England dominated the second day of the third Test against India in Southampton.

    ian bell

    Bell made 167, sharing century stands with Gary Ballance and debutant Jos Buttler, who dazzled on the way to 85 from 83 balls.

    City launches hunt for housing developer 08:33: Birmingham Post

    Plans for a major housing scheme in south Birmingham have taken another significant step forward after the city council cabinet agreed to open the tender process to build more than 300 homes.

    Footage of officer flung from van 08:23:

    West Midlands Police has released this dramatic footage of the moment a Birmingham police officer was flung to the ground as he tried to stop a getaway van.

    police screen grab

    Detectives are appealing for help to solve the case.

    Birmingham tunnel delays 08:12:

    The planned tunnel closures in Birmingham city centre are causing delays in both directions.

    See BBC Travel News for more information.

    Cloudy later 08:03:

    After some morning sunshine, it will turn increasingly cloudy from the northwest. Though most places will remain dry, the odd spot of rain is possible.


    Late in the day, the cloud may tend to break allowing sunny spells to return.

    Good morning 08:00: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, weather and travel throughout the day for Birmingham and the Black Country.

    You can get in touch by emailing



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.