A special ceremony has occurred to bestow the title of Honorary Freemen of The City upon three cricketers born in the Bradford District.
Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, MBE, and Harry Brook were formally granted the privilege of being Freemen of the City during the event that took place on Monday, 21st August.
Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid, MBE, played crucial roles in England’s remarkable ‘super over’ victory during the final of the 50-over competition against New Zealand at Lord’s on 14th July 2019.
In acknowledgement of this achievement – marking England’s initial World Cup victory after 12 attempts – the selection panel for Bradford Council’s Freemen of the City recommended in 2020 that both Bairstow and Rashid should be the eighth and ninth recipients of this distinction.
Harry Brook, hailing from Keighley and raised in Burley-in-Wharfedale, is a member of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club. He marked his international debut for England in January 2022 and was a part of the victorious England squad in the 2022 T20 World Cup.
Harry earned the titles of Professional Cricketers Association Young Player of the Year for both 2021 and 2022, as well as Cricket Writer’s Club Young Cricketer of the Year for 2021. Moreover, he was named the International Cricket Council World Player of the Month in December 2022 and February 2023.
He was put forward for the freedom of the city by Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the leader of Bradford Council, during a meeting held in May.
Prior to the ceremony at Bradford’s City Hall, they engaged with young cricketers from the District. These youngsters participated in cricket activities organized by Yorkshire Cricket Board, which took place outside City Hall.
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “Adil, Harry and Jonny have been selected not only because they are 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 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.”
The Roll of Honorary Freemen of the City was created in the late nineteenth century. The first name admitted to the roll was that of Sir Henry Mitchell, a former Mayor, philanthropist and mill owner. Since that time other famous Bradfordians such as JB Priestley (1973), Barbara Castle (1997) and David Hockney (2000) have been admitted to the roll.
The most recent recipients were rugby league coach Brian Noble (2006), The 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2010) and Sir Ken Morrison CBE (also 2010).