England cricket legend Steve Harmison has been chosen as a royal representative in his home county.
Retired Durham fast bowler Steve, from Ashington, has been appointed a deputy lieutenant of Northumberland, a role which will see him support the Duchess of Northumberland in her post as lord lieutenant - the Queen’s official representative for the county.
The 35-year-old, who holds the MBE, last night spoke of his “honour and privilege” at being appointed, on the duchess’ recommendation, and said he looked forward to serving the area he loves.
Steve played professional cricket for Durham for seventeen years and represented England between 2002-2009 during which time he became the world’s top-ranked test bowler.
Steve is patron to The Bubble Foundation, The James Milner Foundation, and the Andrew Flintoff Foundation and has raised money for numerous local charities. He is also an ambassador for the Professional Cricketers Association and helps with the children’s cricket coaching in his home town, at Ashington Cricket Club.
Steve, who lives at Woodhorn, said: “It is a real honour and privilege to be chosen for this position.
“I am delighted to be able to serve the county in this capacity and I look forward to assisting the Duchess of Northumberland in her official duties.
“I think anybody from round here knows how much I love the North East, I have always lived in Ashington and Northumberland and quite happily take the responsibilities and anything I can do to promote this region I will always do so.
“Trying to promote the North East is something I have always done throughout my professional career and now I am retired I can do that through a different angle.”
The duchess said: “I am delighted Stephen has agreed to accept the appointment and we warmly welcome him to his new role as a new deputy lieutenant.
“Stephen’s sporting and charitable work, combined with his strong North East roots, will contribute to the experience and diversity of the lieutenancy.
“I am sure he will serve the people of Northumberland well.”
Deputy lieutenants receive their commission only when official confirmation is received that the Queen does not ‘disapprove of the appointment’.
They must live within their county, or within seven miles of the boundary, and they usually retain the appointment until the retirement age of 75.