In a decision made at a meeting of the full council yesterday, a prominent cricket player from the Bradford district is set to be awarded the freedom of the city. Harry Brook, hailing from Keighley and raised in Burley-in-Wharfedale, has been recognised for his exceptional achievements in the sport. Currently representing Yorkshire Cricket, Brook debuted for the England cricket team in January 2022 and was a vital contributor to England’s victorious campaign in the 2022 T20 World Cup.
The prestigious honour of the freedom of the city has a rich history, with its inception dating back to the late nineteenth century. The initial inclusion on the Roll of Honorary Freemen of the City occurred in 1898 when Sir Henry Mitchell, a former Lord Mayor, philanthropist, and mill owner, was bestowed with the privilege. Over the years, several renowned Bradfordians such as JB Priestley (1973), Barbara Castle (1997), and David Hockney (2000) have been admitted to this esteemed roll.
Joining the ranks of the most recent recipients, which include rugby league coach Brian Noble (2006), 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2010), and Sir Ken Morrison CBE (2010), Harry Brook will stand alongside local cricket stars Adil Rashid and Jonny Bairstow, who was conferred with the same award in 2020.
Brook’s exceptional talents have earned him numerous accolades, including being named the Professional Cricketers Association Young Player of the Year for both 2021 and 2022. Additionally, he was honoured as the Cricket Writer’s Club Young Cricketer of the Year for 2021 and was recognised as the International Cricket Council World Player of the Month in December 2022 and February 2023.
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the leader of Bradford Council, put forth the nomination for the freedom of the city. Speaking highly of Brook’s accomplishments, Councillor Hinchcliffe stated, “Harry has made an incredible impact on the senior international game in just a short time and promises to earn a place among Yorkshire and England’s greatest cricketers. He is a tremendous role model for our young people and will probably be the youngest person to be honoured as a freeman of the District, which is fitting in what is now the UK’s youngest city.”
A presentation ceremony, graced by the new Lord Mayor Councillor Gerry Barker, is scheduled to take place later this year to commemorate this prestigious recognition of Harry Brook’s exceptional contributions to the world of cricket.