Community 09.05.23

Freedom of the City ceremony for Richard Caborn

In December 2022, Richard Caborn was recognised for dedicating his life to Sheffield and its people, by being awarded the city’s highest honour, Freedom of the City.

Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Sioned-Mair Richards bestowed Mr Caborn, Former Sheffield MP and Minister, with the honour during a special meeting of Council members on Wednesday 14 December in gratitude for his contribution to the advancement of sport in Sheffield, nationwide and internationally, and, in doing so, rendering eminent services to the city.

To celebrate these achievements, a Freedom of the City ceremony took place on Tuesday 9 May in the reception rooms at Sheffield Town Hall.

Richard Caborn said: “I’m truly honoured and immensely proud to receive the Freedom of the City of Sheffield, the city where I was born and bred and have worked all my life. I’ve had the privilege of proudly representing Sheffield for more than 30 years, firstly as Member of the European Parliament, then as Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central in the House of Commons.

“And I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many talented people from all walks of life, coming together to deliver international projects like the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics bid, and others closer to home, but just as important, like the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

“I’m touched to see how many people have attended the presentation today and I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone for their support.”

Councillor Sioned-Mair Richards, said: “Richard Caborn has Sheffield running through him like a stick of rock. He has put his energy into the Advanced Manufacturing Park and the more recent Olympic Legacy Park. Their success is down to his talent for bringing people together for the betterment of Sheffield. And all this has been achieved since his retirement!

“He is now supposed to be starting a second retirement, l suspect that this is still a long way off. Richard Caborn, Freeman of this City. We salute you.”

About Richard Caborn:

Born in Sheffield in 1943, Richard Caborn left school at the age of 15 for an engineering apprenticeship at Thomas Firth and John Browns. Always active in the trade unions, in 1979 he turned to politics full-time to become MEP for Sheffield in the newly formed European Parliament where he was elected chair of the British Labour Group.

In 1983 he became MP for Sheffield Central, a seat he held until 2010 during which time he chaired the powerful Trade and Industry Select Committee and held three Ministerial portfolios on regional policy, trade and industry, and sport – playing a leading role in the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid.

Richard joined the Anti-Apartheid Movement when he was a trade union official in the 1970s and was a founder member of Sheffield Anti-Apartheid Group. He served as the Anti-Apartheid Movement’s national Treasurer from 1989–1994 and also became Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Southern Africa.

Since leaving Parliament, Richard has maintained his passion for both sport – including his beloved Sheffield United – and industry.

The 79-year-old is currently the chair of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park – a unique place and project delivering a better future for all through transformational health and wellbeing research, innovation, and applied technology.

Picture: Richard Caborn being presented with the Freedom of the City ceremonial scroll by Lord Mayor Sioned-Mair Richards, with Sheffield City Council Chief Executive Kate Josephs and General Counsel & Monitoring Officer David Hollis