Rochdale Hornets RLFC have been given the honour of Freedom of entry to the Borough of Rochdale for their success in Rugby League last season.
The Mayor and Ex-Hornets player, Councillor Peter Rush, civic dignitaries and distinguished guests packed the town hall to hear how Rochdale Hornets' season had impacted on residents across the borough.
Councillor Rush said: “It’s an honour to be able to present the Rochdale Hornets with the Freedom of the Borough in my mayoral year. It is my great pleasure to be addressing everyone here this evening not only as the first resident of Rochdale, but as a Hornets fan.”
Councillor Colin Lambert, who proposed the honour said: “This is a way for our borough to show how proud we are of are of Rochdale Hornets, whose success last season reflected very well on the team and the borough as a whole. The Freedom of the Borough is very rarely used and only awarded to local people who have made a significant contribution to the locality or have achieved something outstanding.”
Ryan Bradley, Chief Executive of the Rochdale Hornets added: “Becoming an honorary freeman is a great achievement and one of the proudest moments in the club’s 142 years.
“The achievement recognises not just the victory over Oldham in the Kingstone Press Championship One play-off final last season, but the hard work of the staff, our ongoing community work and our dedication to the principles of co-operation that keep us at the heart of the Rochdale borough community.”
“On behalf of all of our members, I would like to thank Councillors Lambert, Dearnley and Kelly for recognising our contribution and we vow to carry on representing Rochdale on a national stage in one of the toughest sports there is while keeping the people of Rochdale at the heart of everything we do.”
Rochdale Borough Council unanimously voted to grant its highest honour, The Freedom of the Borough, to the team at a special meeting of council in January. This historic event is honoured by presenting the recipients with an inscribed scroll showing the council’s recognition of their achievements. Representatives of the rugby club were presented with their scroll before enjoying refreshments in the Great Hall.
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