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Join our campaign for Burnley cricketer James Anderson to be given a special honour to recognise his role in England’s Ashes victory

Wednesday, 12th January 2011, 7:59 am

Anderson, nicknamed the “Burnley Express”, was a key figure in England’s glorious Ashes triumph in Australia where he finished the series as top wicket-taker and cemented his reputation as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the world.

Express editor Chris Daggett said: “Jimmy Anderson has been a fantastic ambassador for Burnley and deserves to be given special recognition for his efforts in helping England to an historic Ashes victory.

“He is now one of the best-known sportsmen in the world and Burnley is very proud of him and his achievements. Burnley recently honoured the great Jimmy McIlroy by making him a Freeman of the Borough. Jimmy Anderson is only in his 20s but the scale of what he has done transcends that fact.”

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Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said: “Jimmy is a credit to the town. He’s a role model for young kids and a very level-headed young man who has not let his talent spoil him. At 28 he would be very young to be made a Freeman of the Borough but I would support whatever the council decides.”

The former St Theodore’s RC High pupil would be the youngest recipient of such an honour, most recently given to another Burnley sporting great, retired footballer Jimmy McIlroy.

Sports broadcaster Tony Livesey lent his voice to the campaign saying: “Jimmy’s still a young guy so some people might think it’s too early for such an honour but sometimes in life there are magic moments that have the nation gripped.

“For a Burnley lad to have the country up till 6 a.m. watching television is great.

“Over these last few weeks Jimmy has produced not just magic moments but a series of stupendous moments. He’s made Burnley famous again, he’s a great ambassador and the town should be proud of him.”

Former Burnley MP Peter Pike also lent his voice to the clamour for Anderson to be honoured.

“He’s obviously had a great series and was one of England’s key players. It’s a great achievement for a local lad and we’re all proud of his success. It would be fitting for him to be honoured in some way.”

Anderson (28) started his cricketing career with his home town club playing in the Lancashire League before he was snapped up by Lancashire County Cricket Club. He was only 20 when he made his international debut and has since gone on to take 205 test match wickets.

But it was his pivotal role taking 24 wickets in England’s stunning 3-1 series against the “Old Enemy” Australia down under that has earned him plaudits from around the world.

Burnley Council Chief Executive Steve Rumbelow confirmed discussions had already taken place as to how best to recognise Jimmy for his efforts.

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