Paralympic hero Stephen Miller awarded Freedom of Cramlington

Paralympic hero Stephen Miller accepted the Freedom of Cramlington award at a special ceremony last night

Stephen Miller receives the freedom of Cramlington. Pictured with wife Rachel

Paralympic hero Stephen Miller has been honoured in his home town by being given the Freedom of Cramlington.

The gold medal winner was invited to a special cermony last night so Town Council officials could bestow the very first Freedom of Cramlington on him.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, the 33-year-old said he felt privileged to accept the award.

“It is a huge honour, it’s my hometown, it’s where I have lived all my life, so it is very close to my heart,” he said.

“I was born and bred here so to be a Freeman of Cramlington is a great honour and I am very excited.”

Stephen, who was accompanied by wife Rachel and both their families, joked that he would be getting the Freedom of the North East soon.

“Well I have the Freedom of Northumberland and the Freedom of Gateshead, now the Freedom of Cramlington, I am taking over the North East,” he said.

“It’s something I do not expect, I never expect to get all these things.

“I keep trying to do what I am good at and give something back to the community as well and be a good role model.

“It is nice to be recognised in this way,” added Stephen.

Stephen was presented with the Freedom of Cramlington by Ann Micheson, chair of Cramlington Town Council.

She said: “It is a great honour for us, what Stephen has achieved we are so proud of because he is a Cramlington lad born and bred.

“What he has achieved has been through hard work, perseverance, and dedication.

“Also what he is doing with the young people is great.”

Presenting the award, Ann said: “Tonight is a very special occasion, special for the people of Cramlington, and the town council are so happy Stephen has honoured us by agreeing to become the first honorary Freeman of Cramlington.”

She added: “Believe you me, we are absolutely thrilled that we are able to give it to one of our own from Cramlington.”

Stephen is one of the longest serving and most successful British athletes and at the London 2012 Paralympics he captained the male athletics team.

In his career he has won three gold paralympic medals, one silver and one bronze.

He is currently training for Rio 2016.

Accepting the award, Stephen said: “It’s a great honour to be here tonight and I cannot tell you how proud I am to be awarded an honorary Freedom of Cramlington.

“It makes you feel very humble to get this award and I hope to continue to do the right thing, try and be positive and just to try and live my life better. It is a great mentality to have and I try to pass that on to people I meet and try and be a good role model and inspiration for people.”

Stephen added: “Cramlington is a great town, I can’t see myself living anywhere else.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer