Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Jessica Ennis saluted by Sheffield after gold medal win

Sheffield City Council has promised a full civic welcome for Jessica Ennis and all the other Olympic athletes from the city.

Meanwhile a postbox outside the city hall has been painted gold to mark Ennis's medal win, and she has featured on a special stamp rushed out for sale.

Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam, has called for her to be granted the freedom of the city.

There have also been calls on Twitter to rename a city square after Ennis.

However, not everybody supported the idea of renaming the city's Tudor Square.

Image caption It took four coats of paint to make the postbox golden

One Twitter user wrote: "When everyone has calmed down and had a cup of tea they'll realise renaming Tudor Square, Ennis Square is just inappropriate and costly."

Nevertheless, thousands of people celebrated across Sheffield as Ennis crossed the line at the Olympic Stadium to secure heptathlon gold.

For much of Saturday the Don Valley Stadium - where a big screen was put up - resembled a country picnic.

As the Sheffield hero came out for her 800m heat, about 2,000 people surged forward to see her victory.

Ennis, hailed as the face of London 2012, won gold on one of Britain's greatest days in Olympic history.

As the 26-year-old entered the Olympic stadium for the 800m heat in the heptathlon, the floodlights came on in Sheffield and the stadium where Ennis was discovered and still trains suddenly resembled a rock concert.

When the starter's gun went off, Sheffield produced a wall of noise.

And when Ennis crossed the line, there were hugs, tears and even louder screams.

Jessica Burton, 17, said: "On my god, she's done it. We love her, we love her, we love her. I am so proud to be from the same city as Jess Ennis."

Earlier Chris Eccles, who taught the heptathlete at King Ecgbert School, said every pupil knew about the athlete's achievements.

"They are inspired by her because they can see someone from their own town being so successful," he said.

"They see people like Jess as great role models."

Ennis started running at the Don Valley Stadium when she joined the City of Sheffield Athletic Club at the age of 13.

Despite being a world-class athlete, she still competes for the club in the Northern League.

Club chairman Mike Corden said the gold medallist was a "phenomenon".

"Our kids in the club are inspired by her. They are so proud of her," he said.

Paying tribute to Ennis, Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP David Blunkett said: "She is the princess of Sheffield, who has lifted the hearts of the nation and provided an inspiration for the young athletes of the future."

On a hugely successful night for Team GB, Ennis's athletics team-mates Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford also won gold, in the 10,000m and long jump respectively.

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