Leeds & West Yorkshire

Cycling champion Beryl Burton gets civic honour

Beryl Burton Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Beryl Burton won seven world titles and set numerous records during her cycling career

The Freedom of the City of Leeds has been posthumously awarded to former cycling world champion Beryl Burton.

Mrs Burton, from Morley, won seven world titles and set numerous records, including one for cycling more than 277 miles (446 km) in a 12-hour time trial in 1967.

Appointed MBE in 1964 and OBE in 1968, she died aged 58 in 1996.

Her daughter, Denise Burton-Cole, said her mother would have been "very honoured".

The city's highest civic honour, the Freedom of the City has also been given to Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill and charity fundraiser Jane Tomlinson.

"To do what she did and to be so good at it - and to beat the men - she's got this honour today in recognition and that is great," Ms Burton-Cole said.

"She would've been very proud of it... She was like that though, she was proud to be Yorkshire, proud to be British, that was her."

A day-long cycling festival has also been organised in Millennium Square to mark the occasion.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, said the civic honour for Mrs Burton would mean "her vast achievements are never forgotten".

"To put it simply, Beryl Burton was the best British female cyclist of all time and undoubtedly one of the greatest, if not the greatest sport person, ever to come out of Leeds."

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