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WATCH: Sons and daughters of Wolverhampton are here forever after

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

They came from all walks of life – but their variety of achievements still provide inspiration for thousands across the city where they were born.

An elite group of Wolverhampton-born people now famous in the worlds of sport, business, education and media have already been rewarded after being selected in the roll of honour for Wolverhampton's Famous Sons & Daughters.

And now their legacy will stand in the city for years to come after a plaque with their names was unveiled.

The bronze cast scroll plaque is up at The Gateway building to the University of Wolverhampton, Wulfruna Street.

Among those on the roll of honour who attended yesterday's unveiling was Sir Geoff Hampton, Slade guitarist Dave Hill and Olympic hopeful cycling star Andy Tennant, Olympic bronze winning gymnast Kristian Thomas, four times world pursuit cycling winner Hugh Porter MBE and Wolves legend Bert Williams' daughter Ann Crawshaw.

Wolverhampton Sons and Daughters roll of honour, at Wulfruna Street. Sir Geoff Hampton, Lisa Webb GM, and Hugh Porter MBE

The guest list also included Liam Payne's parents Geoff and Karen Payne, Lord Bilston Dennis Turner's widow Lady Patricia Turner and Lisa Webb GM, who saved the lives of children when a man armed with a machete targeted her nursery.

The unveiling of the plaque, by Wolverhampton council Mayor Ian Brookfield, came two months after the latest batch of names was enrolled.

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The seven names were TV presenter Suzi Perry, model Ricki Hall, England batsman Vikram Solanki, former Bank of England governor, Lord Mervyn King, Lisa Webb, Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint, Baron Paul of Marylebone, and Andy Tennant.

Scores of distinguished guests gathered for the bi-annual awards dinner at the Molineux Stadium, with Hugh Porter interviewing the guests on stage.

So far, three rounds of names have been announced since it was launched.

The crowd watching the plaque being unveiled at The Gateway building to the University of Wolverhampton

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After the big names gathered at the city's art gallery yesterday lunchtime they made their way outside in the rain to watch the unveiling.

Mayor of Wolverhampton, councillor Brookfield, said: "It's about celebrating our famous sons and daughters. We've had an event going on in this city, like in other places who celebrate famous people and those that have done things for our community."

The plaque, made by sculptor Ron Dutton, was then pictured with the present winners lined in front before they returned inside the gallery for a reception.

Dave Hill, who moved the Penn at a young age, was awarded in 2013 for his contribution to media, arts and entertainment.

He said: "When I was 15 years old to imagine my name would be on the wall in the centre of Wolverhampton of something I'd have done in life - you can't see that far ahead when you're young but it's really nice. Looking at the plaque there's some really good people up there and they've all done things and I suppose Slade will always be fondly remember as Wolverhampton group."

Olympic Gymnast Kristian Thomas was recognised for his contribution to British athletics.

He said: "It's a very proud day for me. It's obviously a fantastic opportunity."

Lisa Webb was first awarded the George Medal in 1997 after protecting children at the nursery in Blakenhall she then worked at from a machete wielding attacker. She said: "For me, being recognized for something publicly in Wolverhampton is absolutely amazing. I think for years to come for the history."

Ann Crawshaw, aged 74, who attended the ceremony on behalf of her late father Bert Williams, said: "It's lovely to see his name on the plaque and its so tasteful as well.

"He would have been very proud. A big thanks must go to Wolverhampton Wanderers because they never forget."

Andy Tennant defeated British team-mate Owain Doull to win his first individual World Championship medal last month and he hopes to be among those to represent Britain at the Olympics in Brazil this year.

He said: "I'm very proud to be honoured. It is a beautiful plaque."

Liam Payne's mother Karen also spoke of her delight.

She said Liam returned home for the night from his busy schedule for Mother's Day and would visit the plaque with his friends.

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