Yorkshire, the English county famous worldwide for cricket, the War of the Roses and a Monty Python sketch where a group of men compete for the worst story about childhood deprivation, has taken Britain's first black archbishop to heart - voting him their Man of the Year.
Dr John Sentamu, received the award at the Yorkshire Awards presentation ceremony at the Hilton Hotel, Leeds, on Friday 26 October 2007, joining an enviable roster that includes late TV presenter Richard Whiteley, actor Sean Bean, interviewer Michael Parkinson, playwright Alan Ayckbourn and and former Labour minister Denis Healey.
Receiving the award Dr Sentamu, known for his humpur and punchy style, said: “I’m honoured to receive this award, the people of Yorkshire have made me welcome in their home. It is my hope that through this warm welcome they embrace the gospel message of faith and the love of Jesus Christ. After all they call Yorkshire God’s own country!”
The Yorkshire Awards recognises people and organisations that have had an impact on Yorkshire and its people. The Yorkshire Man of the Year award is chosen with the help of the Yorkshire public.
The Awards started in 1989 and involve some of the region's leading companies and organisations. Other luminaries include cricketer Geoffrey Boycott.
Dr Sentamu has come to public attention for his outspoken views on community and young people, human rights, and the role of the church in the community. He upset some secularists with claims that their agenda was narrowly anti-religious, but pleased anti-war campaigners with a tent vigil for peace in York Minster.
The prize goes to the man who is deemed to have made the greatest individual contribution for the county over the year.
Yorkshire women, who some claim do most the the work, and are paid little or nothing for it compared to many men, were apparently not available for comment.