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New campaign to net civic honour for football hero

PUBLISHED: 16:07 12 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:16 13 August 2019

Linnets legend Mick Wright currently runs an antique shop. Photo: Ian Burt

Linnets legend Mick Wright currently runs an antique shop. Photo: Ian Burt

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A former King's Lynn football manager is launching a fresh bid to have one of the club's legendary players awarded the freedom of the borough.

Mick Wright: Pictures submittedMick Wright: Pictures submitted

A former King's Lynn FC football manager is launching a fresh bid to have one of the club's legendary players awarded the freedom of the borough.

Keith Rudd had appealed for Linnets legend Mick Wright to receive the Freedom of West Norfolk in 2017, however his nomination was dismissed.

Undeterred by this Mr Rudd took the case to the local government ombudsman, which said West Norfolk Council had not followed its own procedures in dismissing his application, which state all applications should be discussed by the cabinet.

The council formally apologised, but when the cabinet discussed the matter, it said Mr Wright did not meet its criteria.

Mick Wright: Pictures submittedMick Wright: Pictures submitted

Mr Wright holds the British record for the most consecutive games played without getting injured (440) and without getting booked. He also played 1,152 games for King's Lynn, a club record.

He scored the winner in the club's 1961 FA Cup giant-killing match against Coventry City and played against Everton a year later.

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A ruptured spleen ended his record-breaking injury-free run, however Mr Wright still attempted to leave hospital to play the following Saturday. Mr Wright broke his leg four times while playing for Lynn, but only found out after a hospital scan years later.

Sport  -  Football

King's Lynn Linnets manager Len Richley discusses tactics with his squad on the eve of their (unsuccessful) FA Cup first round trip to Shrewsbury. Pictured listening are, back row from left, Gerry Baker, Mick Wright, Roy Proverbs, Bob Edwards, Jack Walls, and (front row) Barrie Jones, Bobby Laverick, David King, David Partridge, Roy Banham, Ian Williamson and Ronnie Bacon. Wright and Bacon were the only survivors of the Lynn side which played mighty Everton in the celebrated 1962 Cup-tie.

Dated  November 1964

Photograph  C6126
Negative Number  M839-00
Photograph and caption used in the Eastern Daily Press Sport - Football King's Lynn Linnets manager Len Richley discusses tactics with his squad on the eve of their (unsuccessful) FA Cup first round trip to Shrewsbury. Pictured listening are, back row from left, Gerry Baker, Mick Wright, Roy Proverbs, Bob Edwards, Jack Walls, and (front row) Barrie Jones, Bobby Laverick, David King, David Partridge, Roy Banham, Ian Williamson and Ronnie Bacon. Wright and Bacon were the only survivors of the Lynn side which played mighty Everton in the celebrated 1962 Cup-tie. Dated November 1964 Photograph C6126 Negative Number M839-00 Photograph and caption used in the Eastern Daily Press " Images of King's Lynn" book published 1996 - chapter Sporting Lynn, page 85

Mr Rudd is still trying to get recognition for the Linnets legend, who is now a wheelchair user, as the criteria states any person who has given "superior service" to the borough can be honoured.

He says a number of councillors support the application and is currently lobbying others to get behind the campaign.

Councillor Jim Moriarty said he is set to meet with Mr Rudd and others to discuss how Mr Wright would be honoured by the town.

Mr Wright said he felt a certain type of person is usually nominated for the awards, often from the military, with civilians regularly ignored.

He said: "I was pleased to be nominated, and it would be a great achievement for doing something that I love."

Mr Rudd said: "I won't give up on it because I know other councils would give him it. It's just so remarkable, he was a remarkable character and was always a very loyal man to the football club."

Footballers have received the award from other councils including Eddie Howe, by Bournemouth Borough Council, Steven Gerrard, by Liverpool City Council, and Kieran Trippier, by Bury Council.

A council spokesperson said that any reconsideration on the decision would be based on the evidence given by Mr Rudd and others supporting Mr Wright's nomination. The spokeperson added that historically the award has not been given to sports people, however they added that they were unaware of any part of the criteria that would disallow a candidate because their "superior service" was in sport.

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