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Jessica Ennis honoured by Sheffield United

ALL SMILES: Jessica Ennis honoured by Sheffield United

A STAND at Sheffield United's stadium is to be named after Jessica Ennis.

The double-tier Bramall Lane Stand that serves as the away end will be christened ‘The Jessica Ennis Stand’ this weekend.

Following her London 2012 Olympic success, Ennis was greeted by 20,000 fans at a civic reception in Sheffield city centre where she was presented with the 'Freedom of the City', an honour bestowed upon upstanding members of the community.

Sheffield club owner Kevin McCabe said: "It is an appropriate and fitting tribute to re-name our Bramall Lane double tier stand after one of the finest athletes this country has ever produced."

"Jessica and her family are Unitedites and after discussions with them we all agreed that renaming the Bramall Lane stand after her would provide an additional sporting legacy from the London Games, a permanent reminder that will hopefully act as an inspiration to other youngsters to come forward and achieve their dreams through sport."

He added: "I have been fortunate enough to meet Jessica and her family. They are wonderful ambassadors for this city and sport. I am delighted Sheffield United and our fans can support and recognize Jessica through the re-naming of the stand."

The stand will be officially renamed at Saturday's home League One match with Bournemouth on Saturday, where Jess will be represented by her sister Carmel in her absence.

Ennis said of the honour: "Winning the gold medal at the Olympics was amazing, and to be honest it still hasn't really sunk in."

"It is also wonderful and totally unexpected to have further recognition from within Sheffield and from the football club."

"I met Kevin McCabe at the civic reception in Barker's Pool and he mentioned that the club would like to recognise me winning the gold medal."

"I never expected when I started out in athletics in Sheffield all those years ago that I would have a football stand at Sheffield United named after me."

"I can't be at the match on Saturday but look forward to coming down on a match day very soon when I can see for myself how the stand looks as well as being able to meet supporters."

The news also comes after the 26-year-old's plaque on the city's Walk of Fame was updated in acknowledgement of her gold medal success at this year's games.

The Royal Mail painted a post-box near the Town Hall gold in her honour, in addition to commemorating her win on a special stamp.

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