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Friday, 7 February, 2003, 17:08 GMT
Professor Hawking tops disabled poll
Professor Stephen Hawking, AP
Professor Hawking wrote A Brief History Of Time
Cambridge University physicist Professor Stephen Hawking has been voted the greatest disabled Briton.

The author of A Brief History Of Time, confined to a wheelchair with motor neurone disease, topped the online BBC poll.

Mr Hawking beat poet Lord Byron and Norfolk-born Admiral Nelson, scoring 35.4% of the votes in a poll on the BBC Ouch website for disabled people.

Second place went to London singer and songwriter Ian Dury who polled 28.6%.

Top 10 greatest disabled Britons:
1. Professor Stephen Hawking
2. Ian Dury
3. Tanni Grey-Thompson
4. Douglas Bader
5. Sir Winston Churchill
6. David Blunkett
7. Mike Oliver, Professor of Disability Studies at the University of Greenwich
8. Lord Byron
9. Lord Nelson
10. King George VI

Maria Eagle, Minister for Disabled People, said: "Stephen Hawking and Ian Dury would figure high on many people's lists of 'Greatest Britons'.

"The public's choices for Greatest Disabled Briton show that disability is certainly no barrier to greatness.

"In fact, in a lot of cases it acts as a spur.

"There's a lesson to be learnt here that disabled people have as much - if not more - to offer society as anyone else."

Record-breaking paralympic athlete Tanni Grey-Thompson from Cardiff came third in the poll.

World War II hero Douglas Bader, who famously flew for the RAF despite losing both legs, was fourth.


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See also:

11 Jan 02 | Science/Nature
10 Jan 02 | Science/Nature
07 Jan 02 | Science/Nature
19 Oct 01 | Newsmakers
15 Oct 01 | Science/Nature
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