Croydon’s own Roy Hodgson has been awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Croydon at a special ceremony at the Town Hall tonight.
It is the highest award the council can give, showing just how highly regarded Hodgson is in the borough of his birth. He is now a "Freeman" of the borough of Croydon.
Roy Hodgson said: “I am hugely honoured and humbled to be awarded the freedom of my home town. Growing up in Croydon after the war it was obviously something I could never have dreamt of, but is a testimony I guess to the career I’ve had in football and the many highlights it has given me. I will do my best to deserve the award by supporting Croydon Council and the borough in their desire to continually improve the environment for all of their residents.”
Selhurst Park was a 10-minute walk from Hodgson's boyhood home, and had a stint as a youth player with the Eagles. As a boy he attended John Ruskin grammar school, where played for the school team.
Five decades later - with an almost unparalleled managerial CV under his arm - the former England manager joined Palace in September 2017, turning the club's season around from potential relegation to 11th position in the table; cementing him in the hearts and affection of the fans.
Hodgson said back in May when he was informed of the accolade: “It is a great honour to be awarded the Freedom of the Borough and I would like to thank Councillor Newman and his colleagues for awarding it to me.
"I could never have dreamt that my journey in life would take me from walking to Selhurst Park with my father and sitting on the crossbar at the Holmesdale Road End, to managing the club I have always supported and to being recognised by Croydon Council for my career in football. It is very much an honour I would wish to dedicate to my parents.”
The Palace manager was given his award alongside four-time Olympian Donna Fraser, who was born in Thornton Heath.