Coun Graeme Miller: Freedom of the City recipients “have felt the love and appreciation” from the people of Sunderland

Written by on 9th March 2023

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Coun Graeme Miller, has spoke of his delight after a meeting that brought together three of Sunderland’s finest icons and bestowed upon them Freedom of the City.

Sunderland City Hall: Freedom of the City of Sunderland event (image taken by Nathan Bell)

Lionesses Jill Scott and Steph Houghton as well as anti-racism campaigner, Gary Bennett, were the stars on Wednesday night (March 8) when they were formally given the title.

Scott and Houghton were awarded freedom of the city “in recognition of the example and commitment and achievement she sets in women’s sport and as an ambassador for Sunderland and role model for young people.”

Bennett, meanwhile, was awarded due to “the example of commitment and achievement he sets in combatting racism in football and as an ambassador for Sunderland and role model for young people.” 

Speaking exclusively to Spark, Miller was “delighted” that the event went smoothly.

He said: “I’m delighted that the ceremony’s gone really well, that Gary Bennett, Steph Darby and Jill Scott have felt the love and appreciation by being given the Freedom of the City.

“I know Jill’s not here, but I’m sure she gets it. And they deserve all of those accolades, they deserve to understand that the people of the city hold them in such a high regard.”

The event was livestreamed and can be watched here.

Current track