A professional footballer and a music club promoter have been awarded the title of Honorary Freeman of the Parish of Aylesbury.
Former Aylesbury United player Emmerson Boyce and Friars Music Club promotor David Stopps were bestowed with the rare title after a unanimous vote at last night’s town council meeting.
The title – the highest honour the council can give to an individual – a demonstration of the council’s thanks for the pair’s outstanding commitment and contribution to the wellbeing of the town.
Aylesbury resident David Stopps has been responsible for the Friars Music Club and has managed a number of successful concerts in the town for more than 40 years.
He’s currently hosting a hugely successful exhibition at the County Museum, which has been featured in the national press.
The council said it was proud to award the honour to Mr Stopps for his continued and steadfast commitment to his work in the further development of Friars, as his work has helped bring together and strengthen the local community.
A spokesman said: “His achievements have put Aylesbury on the map for all the right reasons, and he is well respected for all he has done, and continues to do, for the town.”
Aylesbury-born Emmerson Boyce is perhaps most famous for leading Wigan Athletic football Club to a remarkable victory in the FA Cup Final against Manchester City last year.
Boyce grew up in Elmhurst with his parents, Lucille and Melvin, and attended Quarrendon CE Secondary School, where he set a number of athletics records.
He began playing football for his local team, Aylesbury United, at the age of ten, playing as a striker for two years before switching to his more familiar position in defence.
From the age of 12, Boyce attended the Luton School of Excellence, and in the summer of 1995 he became an apprentice at Luton Town.
Aylesbury Town Council has awarded the honour to Mr Boyce for his successful footballing career, and his positive example to young people in his commitment to pursuing his career – showing a clear message to young people that all things are achievable with determination, skills and endeavour.