Freedom of the city for trio

Sir Bob Murray.
Sir Bob Murray.
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FORMER Black Cats chairman Sir Bob Murray and ex-car magnate Sir Peter Vardy are among notable sons of Sunderland set to be honoured with the Freedom of the City.

They have been recommended for the ceremonial honour alongside former Sunderland Mayor, magistrate and council and community stalwart John Mawston.

Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson said: “Mr John Mawston, Sir Bob Murray CBE and Sir Peter Vardy have all made outstanding contributions to the City of Sunderland and life here.

“We’ll be delighted to recognise the efforts of these three whose commitment, confidence and support has made a massive contribution to Sunderland’s development.”

This is only the third time individuals have been put forward for the honour since Sunderland gained city status in 1992.

In 2006, Dr Ram Bannerjee, Sir Tom Cowie and Denise Robertson were granted their freedoms, and in 2007 Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE.

The council has traditionally honoured notable citizens of Sunderland who have made a significant contribution to wellbeing and community spirit by conferring on them the Honorary Freedom of the City.

Sunderland’s ruling cabinet will meet next Thursday to look at the nominations and consider arrangements for a formal ceremony to convey the honours.

The ceremony is scheduled for a special full council meeting on Friday, October 14.

Mr Mawston has been nominated in recognition of his outstanding contributions to local democracy, culture and leisure.

Sir Bob was nominated in recognition of his outstanding contributions to football, education and charitable causes.

Sir Peter was put forward in recognition of his outstanding contributions to business and education.

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