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Wednesday, 6 March, 2002, 07:30 GMT
British award for New York firefighters
Firefighter Mike Kehoe
Mike Kehoe entered the north tower after the attack
The New York firefighters who lost their lives in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks have been remembered at the Pride of Britain awards.

The bravery of the 400 emergency services personnel killed on 11 September and their surviving colleagues was honoured at a ceremony held by The Mirror newspaper.

Accepting a special award on their behalf firefighter Mike Kehoe, whose face became known around the world after he was pictured climbing the north tower as workers fled, said the support of British people was "overwhelming".

The ceremony also rewarded children who have shown exceptional bravery, Britain's 'unsung heroes' and stars including footballer David Beckham and author JK Rowling.

Child fund-raiser

The award to the New York emergency services recalled the exceptional role they played in helping victims of the 11 September attacks.

Joseph Anderson and Carol Vorderman
Burns victim Joseph Anderson was praised
Despite the loss of their own colleagues fire and ambulance crews and the police battled to help the dying and injured in horrific conditions.

Fighting back tears Mr Kehoe, 33, said: "On behalf of the New York Fire Department and Police we cannot thank people of Britain enough.

"You have been so nice to us. It's really overwhelming."

Young winners

Children praised for their courage included six-year-old Kirsty Howard, who was born with her heart back-to-front and with organs including her liver in the wrong place.

Despite her illness Kirsty has raised more than 1m for other sick children and walked out onto the pitch with David Beckham as England mascot for the team's World Cup qualifier against Greece.

A Child of Courage award went to Sophie Knight, nine, who jumped into a swollen river to save her little sister from drowning.

She was given a special treat when pop idol contestant Gareth Gates met her backstage and dedicated a performance of his new single Unchained Melody to her.

Seven-year-old burns victim Joseph Anderson was also given an award for his bravery in the face of dozens of skin graft operations.

Gunman caught

Cherie Blair, Sir Richard Branson and heart surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub were on the panel of judges who chose winners from a shortlist selected by the public.

PC Simon Dell and survivor
PC Dell was reunited with a boy he saved

Among the adults they honoured was PC Simon Dell, who received a Beyond the Call of Duty award for rescuing two people from a blazing flat despite a terrible fear of fire.

An Outstanding Act of Bravery award went to Richard Emmott, who used his rugby skills to catch a gunman and refused to let go even when the man's girlfriend slashed him in the face with a carving knife.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling received a special award, while scientist Sir John Sulston was honoured with a lifetime achievement award for his work in mapping the human genome.

Prince 'proud'

Applauding the actions of the award recipients Prince Charles said: "The winners stand for much of what makes me proud of our country.

"I would like to pass on my heartfelt congratulations to all of them."

Tony Blair said: "Their stories are an inspiration to everyone."

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