Wall of famers

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A WALL of fame celebrating the great and good from Knowsley was unveiled last week - but a St Helens-born father and son also made the final cut!

Famous sons of the borough, including Knowsley freeman and Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard, TV producer Phil Redmond and football hero Peter Reid are among the names which take pride of place on the plaque.

But, also on the list are renowned chemist Sir Joseph Beecham and his son, Sir Thomas Beecham, a famous conductor - who both hailed from St Helens.

The 12 names featured on the Wall of Fame were voted for by the public last year as part of a Conservation Skills and Interpretation Project which took place across Knowsley, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Other names to feature include former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, poet Matt Simpson and Oscar-winning actor, Sir Rex Harrison.

The plaque was unveiled in front of invited guests including former world light-heavyweight boxing champion John Conteh, who is also featured on the list of 12.

Kirkby-born John said: “It is an honour to see my name up here alongside the other 11 people featured, all of whom have achieved so much in their different fields. This Wall of Fame is a great idea which will make local people proud of their area, and show them that anyone can achieve their dreams if they work hard.”

The project provoked controversy last year when nobody from Prescot or Whiston - such as Royle Family actress Sue Johnston or 18th and 19th Century Shakespearean actor John Kemble - made the final cut.

But Councillor Dave Lonergan, Knowsley Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, economy and skills, said: “Over the generations there has been an impressive number of Knowsley people who have made a real mark on history, whether it has been in politics, science, sport or the arts.

“This list was based entirely on votes from residents, and it is nice that we can recognise our local heroes, and inspire future generations in this way.”

The plaque is now on permanent display in Huyton, outside the library on Civic Way.