1. ITV Report

Blind Dave Heeley to be made honorary freeman of Sandwell

Blind Dave pictured after receiving an honorary degree from the University of Wolverhampton Photo: ITV Central News

Hero marathon charity runner Dave Heeley, also known as Blind Dave, is to be made an honorary freeman of Sandwell today.

Dave, who is 54, will be Sandwell's 11th honorary freeman.

Dave, from West Bromwich, earned international fame when he became the first blind person to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days in 2008.

And he recently completed a John O'Groats to Land's End running and cycling challenge for Macmillan Cancer Relief - 1,000 miles in 10 days.

Council Leader Councillor Darren Cooper said: "I am sure he will be a great ambassador for the borough.

"Over the years he has done so much for so many others with his charity runs."

He added: "That was just typical of the man. Making him an honorary freeman is the least we can do for someone of his calibre."

An overjoyed Dave said: "I was absolutely stunned when I was first told.

"I was initially speechless. I regard it as a great privilege and honour."

I regard it as a great privilege and honour

– Blind Dave, marathon charity runner

The ceremony will take place in the Council Chamber at Sandwell Council House, Oldbury, at 12noon.