Joy for Jessica at star billing
GOLDEN girl Jessica Ennis has been officially welcomed into the ranks of Sheffield legends with her own star on the city’s Walk of Fame.
The 25-year-old World Champion heptathlete has followed in the footsteps of sporting heroes Michael Vaughan and Sebastian Coe to be the 16th legend to receive the honour.
“It’s such an honour to see my name among those of so many people I admire,” Jess told the crowd that gathered to see the unveiling outside Sheffield Town Hall.
“It’s a surreal moment but this is my stamp on the city and it will be here forever – I’m so proud.”
Jessica is the youngest legend on the Walk of Fame and only the second female, alongside astronaut Helen Sharman.
The honour rounds off quite a week for the Woodseats girl who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Her dad Vinnie said: “It’s one thing after another for Jess at the minute. I’ll definitely be coming into the city centre more often, to see my girl’s star beneath my feet!”
Mum Alison said: “To us, of course, she’s just Jess, but when we see her on TV and competing at events, she becomes this bigger version of herself.
“It’s such a busy and exciting 12 months coming up with the World Championships in August and then the Olympics next summer.
“She takes everything one step at a time but I know how much it means to her to have the people of this city right behind her every step of the way.”
Lord Mayor of Sheffield Coun Sylvia Dunkley said that when it comes to legends of Sheffield, they don’t come much more Sheffield than Jessica.
She said: “She was born and bred here. Jess went to school here, attended university here and does her training here. She’s an incredible ambassador for this city and always gives her time willingly to support us. She had huge support in the nominations and we’re delighted to be able to honour her.”
The World Championships in South Korea this August are the next big thing on the horizon and Jessica told The Star training is going well.
She said: “I’m feeling good, preparing for the season ahead and really happy with how training is going.
“Of course the Olympics are never far from my mind either and I’m already dreaming about bringing a gold medal back to Sheffield.”