Page last updated at 14:09 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Spelling error in Liddell tribute

Liddel Road
Liddel Road is believed to have been named after Eric Liddell

A street thought to be named in honour of Scottish Olympic gold medallist Eric Liddell has been spelt wrongly for more than 25 years, it has emerged.

People in Cumbernauld want the local authority to change the street sign from Liddel Road to Liddell Road.

North Lanarkshire Council said it was investigating the matter but any change could have "legal implications".

Liddell was immortalised in the 1980s film "Chariots of Fire" for his exploits at the 1924 Paris Olympics.

He won a bronze medal in the 200m and gold in the 400 metres. He famously refused to run on a Sunday during the games as it was against his religious beliefs.

Church of Scotland minister Reverend Neil MacKinnon took up the campaign in July this year to help his friend William Huskisson, 81.

It may not be quite so simple as replacing the sign and could have legal implications for all sorts of things from title deeds to driving licences
Paul Jukes
North Lanarkshire Council

Mr Huskisson believes the sign was changed from Liddell Road to Liddel Road around 25 years ago.

Mr MacKinnon, of St Mungo's Church, said: "Anyone with an understanding of the history and reputation of Eric Liddell will be absolutely astonished that the council can't correct this.

"I spoke to the planning department and they said because it has been misspelt for 25 years they can't change it.

"Eric Liddell stands out as an excellent role model for Scots in all walks of life."

The minister contacted Sports Minister Shona Robison who wrote to the council leader about the issue.

'Spelling confusion'

He has also contacted the Scottish Sports Association as part of the campaign to have the street sign changed.

North Lanarkshire Council's executive director of environmental services Paul Jukes said: "We are investigating the history of the street name as there seems to be some confusion over the original spelling adopted by Cumbernauld Development Corporation more than 40 years ago.

"It may not be quite so simple as replacing the sign and could have legal implications for all sorts of things from title deeds to driving licences."

A council spokesman confirmed that a response had also been sent to Ms Robison in November.

Following his Olympic triumph, Liddell worked as a missionary in China from 1925 to 1943.

He died in an internment camp in 1945, following the Japanese invasion of part of the country during WWII.



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