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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 28 January, 2003, 12:43 GMT
Freedom honours for local heroes
Doris Thompson, Stephen Gately and Ronan Keating on rollercoaster
Mrs Thompson joined Boyzone on a rollercoaster ride
Two of Blackpool's best known personalities are in line to be awarded the Freedom of the Borough.

Former England footballer Jimmy Armfield and Pleasure Beach chairman Doris Thompson look likely to be honoured for their achievements.

The entire company of HMS Splendid are also among the considerations for the accolade.

The town's mayor, Councillor Ivan Taylor, will propose the honours at a full council meeting next week, where they are expected to be officially agreed.

HMS Splendid
HMS Splendid is due to be decommissioned
Jimmy Armfield joined Blackpool Football Club in 1952 and went on to captain the side and then the England team.

Now aged 67, he still lives in the resort and is a lifelong supporter of the club.

Doris Thomson is the chairman of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and celebrated her 100th birthday earlier this month with a ride on one of the famous rollercoasters.

She would be recognised for her contribution to the resort's tourism industry and would become the first woman to receive the honour.

'Wonderful ambassadors'

HMS Splendid has had a close association with Blackpool for more than a decade. The submarine will be decommissioned in March.

Councillor Taylor said: "Both Mrs Thompson and Jimmy Armfield have been, and continue to be, wonderful ambassadors for Blackpool.

"Blackpool FC and Blackpool Pleasure Beach are both flag flying organisations which proudly boast the resort's name in their titles.

"HMS Splendid has served this country well all over the world and the ship's company have been here on many occasions, including Remembrance Services."


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16 Jun 00 | Sport
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