An upcoming special event is set to commemorate the induction of three cricketers born in the Bradford District into the distinguished Roll of Honorary Freemen of The City.
Scheduled for Monday, August 21, the ceremony will bestow the title of Freeman of the City upon Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, MBE, and Harry Brook.
Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid, MBE, notably contributed to England’s remarkable victory in the ‘super over’ final against New Zealand during the 50-over competition at Lord’s on July 14, 2019.
Acknowledging this achievement – which secured England’s first World Cup championship in 12 attempts – the Freemen of the City selection panel, under the purview of Bradford Council, recommended in 2020 that both Bairstow and Rashid be honoured as the eighth and ninth recipients of this distinction.
Harry Brook, hailing from Keighley and nurtured in Burley-in-Wharfedale, currently represents the Yorkshire County Cricket Club. His involvement in the England squad played a significant role in securing victory at the 2022 T20 World Cup.
Earning titles such as the Professional Cricketers Association Young Player of the Year for consecutive years in 2021 and 2022, and the Cricket Writer’s Club Young Cricketer of the Year for 2021, Harry Brook’s prowess earned him further accolades as the International Cricket Council World Player of the Month in December 2022 and February 2023.
Bradford Council leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, in a meeting held in May, put forth the nomination for Harry’s inclusion in the list of those deserving freedom of the city.
A preliminary engagement with local young cricketers will precede the ceremony held within Bradford’s City Hall.
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “Adil, Harry and Jonny have been selected because they are not only exceptional sportsmen but also outstanding role models for young people and communities right across the Bradford District.
“The Freedom of the City is a fitting accolade and mark of respect to reflect the admiration and pride they have inspired across the district – and indeed the country. And they will join an impressive band of previous recipients of our city’s highest honour.”
Lord Mayor of Bradford Cllr Gerry Barker said: “Granting the Freedom of the City is a rare occurrence and this important honour recognises people who have made an important contribution in the city, district and country. It will be a proud day to give these three cricketers this honour.”
The Roll of Honorary Freemen of the City, established in the late nineteenth century, serves as a testament to remarkable individuals. Notably, the first name to grace the roll was Sir Henry Mitchell, recognized for his mayoral service, philanthropy, and entrepreneurial endeavours. Over time, notable figures like JB Priestley (1973), Barbara Castle (1997), and David Hockney (2000) have joined this esteemed list.
In more recent times, additions such as rugby league coach Brian Noble (2006), The 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2010), and Sir Ken Morrison CBE (also 2010) have contributed to the roll’s legacy.