Legendary marathon runner Ron Hill was awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Hyndburn on Tuesday (10 July) in recognition of his prolific sporting career. Hill, who was born in Accrington, was given the civic honour in a ceremony at his local town hall, with the day rounded off by a social run up a hill.
Winner of gold medals at the European Championships in 1969 and the Commonwealth Games in 1970, the British runner was the second man ever to record a sub 2:10 in the marathon. Now 73, Hill continues to run every day and is set to take part in his 5th New York marathon this November.
Even though he now operates his own sportswear company, Hill has maintained ties with his hometown and is still a member of Accrington Grammar School Old Boys and maintains links with his old running clubs, Clayton Harriers and Accrington Road Runners.
Council leader Miles Parkinson said: "What better year than 2012 to award Ron Hill, former Olympian and legendary marathon runner, the Borough's highest honour? We're so proud of Ron, he's a local lad, a sporting hero and a true inspiration to all who are lucky enough to meet him. He's a great ambassador for sport and a real gentleman, and a well-deserved recipient of the Freedom of the Borough."