Leeds & West Yorkshire

Sir Rodney Walker given freedom of Wakefield

Sir Rodney Walker
Image caption Sir Rodney Walker was chairman of the Rugby Football League for nine years

Former chairman of the Rugby Football League Sir Rodney Walker has been given the freedom of Wakefield.

The 69-year-old was chairman for nine years until 2002. He has also served on various boards and committees in the city for almost 40 years.

The council said he was awarded the honour in recognition of his services to the city, sport and charity.

Council leader Peter Box described him as a "tireless ambassador" for the city.

Outside Wakefield, Sir Rodney has been chairman of Sport England, UK Sport, the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, Wembley National Stadium and the World Snooker Association.

He is trustee of the Wembley National Stadium Trust and the London Marathon Charitable Trust.

In 1996, Sir Rodney received a knighthood for services to sport.

Mr Box said: "Sir Rodney has played a huge role in many aspects of life in the district - in rugby league, in business, in the arts and through raising millions of pounds for charity and good causes.

"I feel it is only right that Sir Rodney's tireless work as an ambassador for Wakefield should also be recognised in the highest honour the council can confer - that of freedom of the city."

He was given the freedom of Wakefield during a ceremony at the County Hall.

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