FORMER England Test cricketer Paul Collingwood has been honoured for his services to the sport.
The chairman of Durham County Council, Councillor Linda Marshall, awarded the Durham County Cricket Club captain the Chairman’s Medal, the authority’s highest honour.
It is presented to individuals, groups and organisations throughout County Durham to recognise significant achievement and outstanding effort in all walks of life.
Coun Marshall said: “I’ve been fortunate to meet Paul on several occasions, the last time at the Olympic Torch Relay in Durham City, and a more down-to-earth and likeable person I have yet to meet.
“Everyone knows about Paul’s marvellous cricketing exploits with England and Durham.
“His Test career came to a fitting end in January 2011 in Australia, after helping secure a third Ashes series win. That’s what I call going out in style and at the top.”
She added: “I’ve never seen anyone as proud as Paul when he brandished the Olympic Torch like a cricket bat before carrying it from Durham Cathedral to the Market Place.
“Everyone in County Durham is very proud of Paul.
“He is a local hero, and defeat is a word that’s not in his vocabulary. I can’t imagine a more fitting recipient of the Chairman’s Medal.”
At international level, Collingwood played in 68 Test matches, 197 one-day Internationals and 35 Twenty20 Internationals.
The 36-year-old father-of-three daughters was appointed Durham skipper earlier this season.