Cricketer Ben Stokes to be made freeman of home borough

England cricket star Ben Stokes will be made a freeman of the area of Cumbria where he grew up.

Allerdale councillors voted unanimously at a meeting on Wednesday to bestow the honour on the sportsman, who lived in Cockermouth as a youngster.

The 28-year-old moved to Allerdale from New Zealand at the age of 12 when his father Gerard was appointed head coach of Workington Town Rugby League Club.

He attended Cockermouth School and played for Cockermouth Cricket Club, winning the North Lancashire & Cumbria Cricket League Premier Division title with the club as a 15-year-old in 2006.

Cllr Paul Scott, from Allerdale Borough Council, who put forward the motion, said: “Ben Stokes has put so much hard work and dedication into his sport and has become one of the best cricketers in the world.

“He is a shining example to all young people in Cockermouth and Allerdale and really shows what can be achieved.

“He used the facilities in Cockermouth and went on to greatness.”

Seconding the motion, Cllr Alan Smith said: “I remember several years ago he came to Cockermouth Town Council for a grant to help with his sporting aspirations, I think it was for £150.

“I’m sure this is the best £150 we’ve ever spent.”

An extraordinary general meeting will be arranged for the honour to be bestowed.

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