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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 08:57 GMT 09:57 UK
Flintoff given freedom of Preston
Andrew Flintoff
Flintoff is the first honorary Freeman this century
England and Lancashire cricket star Andrew Flintoff has been awarded the freedom of his home city of Preston.

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of making the all-rounder an honorary Freeman on Thursday.

The 27-year-old, nicknamed Freddie, has been honoured for his "services and accomplishments" in cricket.

Only 22 people were given the honour in the last century, including footballer Sir Tom Finney in 1979 and animator Nick Park in 1997.

Flintoff is the first person to become a freeman this century.

Mayor Bikhu Patel said Flintoff was an excellent ambassador and role model.

He is Preston born and bred, and has always remained proud of his roots
Preston mayor Bikhu Patel
"Andrew Flintoff may be an international cricket superstar these days, but he is Preston born and bred, and has always remained proud of his roots," he said.

"He is a great role model and epitomises everything we want to portray Preston as - young, vibrant, enthusiastic and going places.

"He's been amazing in the Ashes and it seems only fitting that his efforts should be recognised in this way, by joining the likes of Sir Tom Finney in becoming a freeman of the city."

The father-of-one will be invited to attend a formal ceremony at Preston Town Hall, expected to take place next January.

England cricket captain Michael Vaughan has called him a sporting hero.

Man of match

He was named Man of the Match after England's fourth Test victory over Australia at Trent Bridge.

He was a pupil at Greenland County Primary School and Ribbleton High School, now called City of Preston High.

The honour has no real privileges and is regarded as an award to men or women of note who have lived or worked in the city.

Freemen take precedence on ceremonial occasions, such as Remembrance Sunday, when they are allowed to walk ahead of councillors in processions.

In the 1800s freemen were given ancient privileges and were allowed to herd their sheep on Moor Park.

Flintoff may be given city honour
01 Sep 05 |  Lancashire
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10 Aug 05 |  Lancashire
Lancs hand Flintoff benefit year
10 Aug 05 |  Cricket


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