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Friday, 18 January, 2002, 08:32 GMT
Falklands veteran receives civic honour
Falklands war veteran Simon Weston
Simon Weston was injured in the Falklands war
Welsh Falklands veteran Simon Weston has received the freedom of the city of Liverpool.

The honour acknowledges work for his charity Weston Spirit, which is based in the city.

He was presented with Merseyside's greatest honour at a civic ceremony at the city's town hall on Friday 18 January.

The supply ship Sir Galahad
The supply ship Sir Galahad
Mr Weston from Nelson in south Wales was severely burned in an attack on the Sir Galahad during the Falklands conflict 20 years ago.

In 1988, he formed Weston Spirit to provide programmes to help the development of young people.

The charity also provides employment opportunities to thousands of teenagers every year.

The 40-year-old father-of-two said it was a "huge honour" to receive the Freedom of the City.

"Receiving any award is special but I would say this is top of the pile because it comes from the people through their elected representatives," said Mr Weston.

"But it is not just for me, it is for all the people who work with Weston Spirit, and particularly for the young people who have made it a success through their hard work.

'Inspiration'

Mr Weston, who lives in Cardiff with his wife Lucy, also praised the Liverpool people for their part in the project.

"The people of Merseyside have welcomed me with open arms from the very start of this project and they have only ever offered help."

The Weston Spirit is based in Liverpool, but has six centres around the UK, including closer to home at Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff.

The ceremony was originally due to take place on 11 September 2001, but was postponed because of the terrorist attacks on America.

The city's council says Mr Weston has turned his past experiences into something positive, becoming an inspiration for everyone.

More than 50 soldiers died and many more were horribly burned when an Argentine missile hit the supply ship Sir Galahad.


Click here to go to Liverpool
See also:

17 Oct 99 | Wales
Actor moved by Weston Spirit
01 Aug 01 | Americas
Falklands war haunts Blair visit
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