Posted: Sat 2nd Apr 2016

Mel Nurse Set For Freedom Of The City Accolade /
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Apr 2nd, 2016

Mel Nurse, former Wales International and one of those who helped save Swansea City FC from financial extinction in 2002, is set to be honoured with the freedom of his home city. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mr Nurse, who grew up playing football in Alice Street, Cwmdu, went on to star on an international stage for Wales and appeared more than 250 times for his local club in two spells during a career that kicked off in 1955. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

And in 2002 he dipped into his own pocket to lead the consortium which not only saved the club from financial oblivion but also laid the foundations for today’s Premier League success story on and off the pitch. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mr Nurse will not be the first footballer born and bred in Swansea to have been awarded the freedom of the city. He follows in the footsteps of the late John Charles who was born in the same street as Mr Nurse and was awarded the honour in 2002. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Rob Stewart, Leader of the Council, said: “Quite rightly Mel Nurse is known as ‘Mr Swansea’. Over the decades he has been a wonderful ambassador for his home city. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“As a young man Mel was a much sought-after centre-half. At the start of his career he could have played for any number of clubs but chose to play for his home-town team. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“After his playing career was over he built up a property empire locally and it was his financial resources and business acumen which helped save Swansea City FC when the crunch came in 2002. Now the Swans are in the Premier League and are watched by hundreds of millions of football fans around the world every week.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Stewart said: “In a year when Swansea players are also much on the mind of Wales manager Chris Coleman for the European Championships, Mel’s contribution to football in Wales and to Swansea in particular will be seen as an enduring legacy which we can all celebrate.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Council is being asked to agree to confer the Freedom of the City on Mr Nurse at its meeting on April 7. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Among those down the years to have been awarded the Freedom of Swansea are war hero Bernard Montgomery, Viscount Montgomery of El Alamein, former US president Jimmy Carter and former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

And only last month the 215 (City of Swansea) Squadron Air Training Cadets were awarded the Freedom of the City and exercised their right to march through the city centre to celebrate. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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