Posted on Monday 25th February 2019
On Tuesday 5 March, Bournemouth Council is taking its final decision, when proposing to award the position of Honorary Freeman of the Borough to AFC Bournemouth Manager, Eddie Howe.
The Freedom of the Borough is the highest award that the Council can bestow. It is a power that is very rarely used and is normally only awarded to local people who have, in the opinion of the Council, undertaken exceptional and widely-recognised services to the Borough.
Proposing the honour, Council Leader Cllr John Beesley said:
“No-one can deny the sense of exceptional pride that engulfed the town back in May 2015, when the club reached the Premier League. I don’t know a single person that doesn’t credit Eddie with a leading role in the steady rise and ongoing success of the Club, from league two to the top flight in just six seasons.” He continued, “It is not just the obvious football management qualities that Eddie has, or indeed the poise, passion and calmness with which he motivates, guides and pushes the team, it is the “Eddie-Effect” that has permeated the Town that really sets him apart. He is a unifying force, the driver behind unprecedented civic pride that descended on the town – and beyond – the day of that promotion. That pride comes from the heart and endures today. It is this eternal fondness and admiration that the people of Bournemouth have for Eddie that the Council wishes to recognise with the highest possible civic honour in making him a Freeman of the Borough.”
The motion will be seconded by AFC Bournemouth fan, Cllr David Smith.
On hearing the news, Eddie said:
"It came as a huge surprise when I was approached by the council to potentially receive the Freedom of the Borough. It would be a great honour and I felt the right thing to do was to accept the proposal on behalf of everyone associated with AFC Bournemouth, in recognition of all the success we have achieved over the past 10 years.''
"This would be an award not only for me but for the board of directors, the staff, the players and the supporters, and I would like to thank the council for thinking of the club."
Eddie Howe becomes just the 28th Freeman of the Borough, the first being The Rt Hon Frederick Sleigh Earl Roberts of Kandahar, Pretoria and Waterford, Field Marshal, Commander-in-Chief of HM Forces, on 7 October 1902. In becoming a Freeman, Eddie joins such esteemed names nationally as Sir Geoff Hurst, Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Winston Churchill and Sir Bob Geldof.
The Special Council meeting will take place from 8.30pm on Tuesday 5 March 2019 and will be the last decision that Bournemouth Borough Council ever takes.
The following rights and privileges are extended to persons admitted to the Roll of Honorary Freemen:
- To hold the courtesy title of ‘Honorary Freeman’ and to be addressed as ‘Mr. Freeman’.
- To receive invitations to civic occasions to which all Members of the Council are invited.
- To occupy a reserved seat at Church Services attended by the Mayor and the Council.
- When attending meetings of the Council, to have a seat provided within the Council Chamber.
- To be presented will an illuminated copy of the resolution granting the honour of Honorary Freeman.