Gordon Reid – the world’s number one wheelchair tennis player – has been admitted as an Honorary Freeman of Argyll and Bute in recognition of his outstanding sporting success and achievements.
At a special meeting of Argyll and Bute Council in Helensburgh on Wednesday, 7 December 2016, members passed a resolution that Gordon, who is from the town and a former pupil of Hermitage Academy, should receive the council’s highest honour.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Provost Len Scoullar, said:
“Gordon Reid is an extremely deserving recipient of the Honorary Freeman of Argyll and Bute award. The whole country is immensely proud of his achievements and the council is pleased that we are in a position to be able to recognise the wonderful national and international success in his chosen sport in this way.”
Gordon will finish 2016 as the world’s number one wheelchair tennis player. He also won singles gold and a silver medal in the doubles at this year’s Paralympics in Rio as well as winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon Grand Slam titles.
He said: “It is a great honour for me to be made an Honorary Freeman of Argyll and Bute. I know how much the local people support me when I am competing throughout the year and I am proud to tell people I meet on my travels that this is the area I grew up in.
“I would like to say a huge thanks to everybody in Argyll and Bute, and especially Helensburgh, for all their continued support. I'll look forward to celebrating this soon with the local people.”
Councillor Dick Walsh, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, added: “Being the world’s number one wheelchair tennis player and winning titles at the Paralympics, the Australian Open and Wimbledon are amazing achievements. As a council we are happy to show our appreciation to Gordon with this special award.”
Councillor Ellen Morton, Depute Leader of Argyll and Bute Council said: “Gordon’s achievements speak for themselves and he is a real inspiration to everyone who believes they can succeed in whatever sport or career they choose. I am pleased to be able to add my sincere congratulations.”
At a previous meeting the council had unanimously backed a recommendation by the Helensburgh and Lomond Area Committee that the council should acknowledge Gordon’s achievements with the Honorary Freeman award.
Councillor Gary Mulvaney, chair of the Helensburgh and Lomond area committee said: “Gordon has firmly put his sport on the map. He has just finished 2016 as world number one, the best in the world, and joins both Andy and Jamie Murray at the pinnacle of their profession. Helensburgh, if not the entire UK should be incredibly proud of Gordon and what he has achieved."
Councillor Aileen Morton, member of the Helensburgh and Lomond area committee said: “Gordon is an outstanding ambassador for his sport, for Argyll and Bute and for his country. This honour marks not just his achievements and international success, but also recognises the extraordinary dedication, hard work and determination that truly makes him an inspiration for all.”
Gordon will only be the second individual to receive the council honour – former Provost Billy Petrie being the previous recipient. This honour has also been conferred on the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
In March this year Gordon officially opened the new Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre in East Clyde Street.