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Oldham heroes Kevin Sinfield and Frank Rothwell given ‘Freedom of the Borough’, The Manc

Oldham heroes Kevin Sinfield and Frank Rothwell given ‘Freedom of the Borough’

Townsmen Kevin Sinfield and Frank Rothwell will be rewarded with the council’s rare honour in return for their remarkable fundraising efforts.

Oldham Council will hand ‘Freedom of the Borough’ to the pair of local stars who raised more than £3.7 million for charities by conquering tests of endurance.

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Rugby league legend Kevin Sinfield and record-breaking rower Frank Rothwell – both from Oldham – have been bestowed with the rare honour following their incredible achievements over the past few months.

Former Leeds Rhinos captain and Saddleworth resident Sinfield raised a staggering £2.7 million after running seven marathons in as many days in December – with proceeds going towards the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Sinfield was inspired to take on the challenge after his old teammate and fellow rugby star Rob Burrow was diagnosed with the condition in 2020.

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In February, Rothwell wrote his way into the history books when he became the oldest man to complete the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – rowing 3,000 miles from the Canaries to the Caribbean in 56 days.

The 70-year-old’s feat raised over £1 million for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Frank, who owns Chadderton-based Manchester Cabins, also donated £30,000 to Action Together last year to help the charity continue its vital work supporting the local community throughout the pandemic. 

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The local council said that offering Sinfield and Rothwell Freedom of the Borough would reflect the duo’s “eminent services”.

Cllr Sean Fielding, Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “Kevin and Frank are truly inspirational, and we were cheering them on every step of the way. 

“In a terrible year they did something really positive and brought people together with their remarkable efforts to simply do whatever it takes to help others.  

“We’re not sure we can top the title of ‘Sir Kev’ but we hope the Freedom of the Borough demonstrates to Kevin and Frank that we are really proud to call them Oldhamers.” 

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Only 24 people have been given Oldham Freedom of the Borough since 1909 – the most recent being Olympic gold medallist Nicola White MBE in 2016. 

Both Sinfield and Rothwell will be honoured at a formal ceremony later in the year when restrictions allow. 

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