JESSICA Ennis has been given a golden reception in her home town of Sheffield where a crowd of around 20,000 people went wild for the Olympic champion, writes Graham Walker.
They crammed into Barker’s Pool in the city centre to welcome the gold medal-winning heptathlete back and went crazy when she told them: “This is my home and this is the place that I love.”
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch Graham Walker’s exclusive chat with Jessica Ennis where she talks about being overwhelmed by the Sheffield reception and support, her future sporting ambitions, getting married and handling fame.
See The Star on Saturday for a special souvenir edition - with five pages of pictures and words from her civic reception homecoming party.
Many at the front of the barriers had waited for more than four hours for Ennis to appear on the stage outside the City Hall.
When she stepped out and waved to the crowd, she was greeted by deafening cheers and a sea of Union flags.
The 26-year-old told the vast crowd: “Thank you so much to every single one of you here.
“If I could thank you all individually, I would. There are so many of you.
“You’ve been incredible - not just these past few weeks, but the past few years.
“You’ve always been there to support me. I can’t thank you enough.”
Ennis was asked to unveil a golden version of the plaque commemorating her achievements which is already outside Sheffield’s Town Hall.
Council leader Julie Dore said: “You have truly helped to change this great city of ours from a city of steel to a city of gold.
“Sheffield is your home and we know you are so proud of the city - maybe as much as we are of you.”