Beryl to be honoured with Freedom of Leeds

Legendary Morley cyclist Beryl Burton.
Legendary Morley cyclist Beryl Burton.

Morley legend Beryl Burton will be posthumously awarded the Freedom of the City of Leeds in September, the city council has confirmed.

At a specially arranged Leeds City Council meeting on Wednesday (July 2) to celebrate the start of the Tour de France this Saturday (July 5), Council Leader Keith Wakefield said the award was “long overdue”.

He said: “Cycling has got a great profile now and it is right that we recognise someone who has been forgotten for many years outside of the cycling fraternity.”

Beryl’s daughter Denise was present to hear glowing tributes to her mum from a number of voices.

Beryl won five women’s road racing World Championships between 1959 and 1966, and also set the 12-hour time trial record for both male and female cyclists during the course of a glittering career.

Coun. Judith Elliott, of Morley Town Council said: “Beryl and her husband Charlie had no help from outside bodies - they had to fund their own way to success. We wholeheartedly support the decision to give her the Freedom of the City.”

The meeting also saw an address by Tour de France general director Christian Prudhomme, who paid tribute to Leeds’passion for cycling, saying that he hoped the race would make the people of Leeds “even prouder” of their home city.