Page last updated at 05:37 GMT, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 06:37 UK

Grav named top Welsh idol in poll

Ray Gravell
The rugby player was the choice of 21% of voters for Welsh Idol

Wales rugby legend Ray Gravell has been voted the nation's top idol in a poll organised by the Welsh assembly.

The Llanelli and British Lions centre turned broadcaster, who died last November, won a fifth of the 6,500 votes cast in the poll.

Singer Katherine Jenkins and the boxer Joe Calzaghe were second and third in the list.

Voters were asked to choose from a shortlist of 10 Welsh public figures announced on 1 March.

Assembly Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis-Thomas said "Grav" was a fitting winner.

"The shortlist included historical figures, princes, singers and sportsmen, all of whom we as a nation are immensely proud," he said.

"But it is fitting that Ray who was perhaps one of the proudest Welshmen, or certainly the one who displayed his love for his country the most has been named as the nation's favourite Welsh person."

Grav, whose life was honoured at a special National Eisteddfod tribute, won 21% of the vote, followed by Katherine Jenkins with 15%.

World supermiddleweight champion Calazaghe, who was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2007, took 13% of the poll.

Katherine Jenkins
Katherine Jenkins came second in the vote organised by the assembly

The other idols on the shortlist came from the worlds of entertainment, sport and history.

Singers Tom Jones and Bryn Terfel, and BBC presenter Gethin Jones were joined by footballer Ryan Giggs and rugby player James Hook.

But medieval Welsh prince Owain Glyndwr did not make the shortlist.

The other finalists were St David and the 10th Century Welsh king and law-maker Hywel Dda.

Voting took place through the assembly's website and in the Senedd itself.

Visitors to the Llangollen International Eisteddfod and the Royal Welsh Show were also able to cast their ballot.

Schoolchildren visiting the assembly on educational visits used the activity to learn about voting and the democratic process as part of their learning programmes.

The competition was launched in January and the shortlist was announced on St David's Day.

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