Rotherham’s biggest honor for the former firefighter who led the GB team to Paralympic glory


Rotherham’s Paralympic Gold Medalist Gavin Walker MBE will be named the Borough’s Honorary Freeman – the highest civic honor the council can bestow.

The GB team co-captain will be honored at the next annual board meeting “in recognition of his outstanding service to sport as an Olympic and Paralympian gold medalist and inspiration to others facing the challenge. ‘adversity through life changing events’.

Mr Walker, a former firefighter, helped lead Britain’s wheelchair rugby team to victory, beating the United States team to claim gold at the Tokyo Paralympic Games last year.

It was the first Paralympic medal for the GB team in the sport.

Get more news and updates from Rotherham here

Mr Walker joined the fire department in 2003, but his life changed when he broke his neck, slipping on a wet patio in 2010.

During his rehab at the Sheffield Spine Unit, Mr Walker met Sarah Leighton, a physiotherapist and UK wheelchair rugby classifier, who introduced him to the sport.

In 2011, Mr. Walker participated in his first training session with the Marauders Club and was selected for the national team in 2013.

Mr. Walker made his Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and is the team’s co-captain.

The nomination to admit Mr. Walker as an honorary free man of the Borough of Rotherham was submitted by Councilor Alan Atkin, with the support of ten other Councilors.

The appointment is expected to be approved at the next Rotherham board meeting on January 12.

Download the YorkshireLive app to personalize the news that interests you and get the latest updates first.