Gateshead honours Paralympian

Stephen Miller, the Paralympic gold medallist from Cramlington, is being honoured with the Freedom of Gateshead in a ceremony at Gateshead International Stadium.

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Stephen Miller joins Gateshead roll of honour

Stephen Miller will become the 21st Freeman of the Borough Gateshead at a ceremony later. He joins a select group of people judged to have made a "significant" contribution to the town, including:

  • 1978: Sister Winifred Laver, missionary who helped the poor in Gateshead, including arranging trips to the seaside for children
  • 2004: Brendan Foster, athlete who broke the 3,000m world record at Gateshead International Stadium in 1974 and went on to found the Great North Run
  • 2006: Mike Neville, television presenter who read the news for both Tyne Tees television and the BBC in the North East
  • 2011: Sir John Hall, businessman who built the Metro Centre in Gateshead and is former owner of Newcastle United, Newcastle Falcons and Newcastle Eagles
  • 2012: Anthony Gormley, artist who designed the Angel of the North

For a full list of Freemen of Gateshead, see the Gateshead Council website.

What is the Freedom of Gateshead?

Paralympian Stephen Miller will become an Honorary Freeman of the Borough of Gateshead.

Freedom of the Borough is one of the highest honours Credit: ITV

As the name suggests, the position is now a ceremonial role, although it originated as a Roman tradition to protect civic security. In Gateshead, unlike in other towns and cities, there are no historic rights or privileges associated with being granted Freedom of the Borough.

Instead, it is considered the highest honour to be among the select group considered to have made a significant contribution to Gateshead - and to be leaving a lasting legacy. Freemen are asked to become ambassadors for the town.

Stephen Miller trained in Gateshead for 15 years and is a lifetime member of the Gateshead Harriers.

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