On Sunday 14 August as part of a vintage and sports car rally, a crowd gathered around the bright red Big Brum Buz to watch Nigel Mansell be awarded the honour of inclusion in the Walk of Stars in Broad Street…..
Nigel Mansell is the most successful British Formula One driver winning 31 grand prix, and was world champion in 1992!
He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth and had to work very hard from humble beginings in the racing organisations to get his first drive, from which his talent was recognised and given development opportunities.
Paul Franks, BBC Radio WM presenter, kicked off the proceedings by interviewing the organiser of the event Mike Olley, Broad Street Manager, who thanked those who had volunteered to help run the event and the crowd for turning up.
Then local comic hero Jasper Carrot joined the group which inevitably lifted the crowd’s spirits with his humour and wit. Jasper praised the gathered crowd for turning up in the aftermath of the troubles last week saying they were the true Brummies not the trouble makers.
Nigel was next spotlighted with Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Anita Ward, presenting him with a plaque replicating the one which has taken its place set in the Pavement in Broad Street, along with those of other local stars including Jasper. Nigel gave an inspiring speech in which he said if you have a dream and go for it unrelentingly, everyone can achieve that dream, “never give up on your dreams” – this, he said, was how he was successful in his chosen career. He said how proud he was to be a Brummie and to received the award, and praised the police for their dedicated dealing with the recent troubles.
Another holder of the star award, Gary Newbon, Sky sports presenter and long time friend of Nigel’s, then asked him to relate notable highlights of his career including his becoming Formula 1 World Champion in 1992 followed the next year by Indy Car Champion in the US beating all seasoned drivers of the game as a rookie. A marvellous and unprecedented achievement!
Gary also related that Nigel had suffered some serious injuries in his determination to succeed and said it was his stubborn perseverance to achieve his dream that led him to often disregard medical advice and get back to his driving in the shortest possible time. The two stars had great fun together relating various anecdotes as can be seen from the photos below.
The presentation lasted 1/2 hour and Nigel stayed a further 1/2 hour signing autographs and shaking hands with the crowd. Nigel then drove off in a grey vintage car with Gary and Jasper in the back seat.
Since retiring from his racing career Nigel has put great energy into charities, especially in helping young people achieve something in their lives (very relevant today) and in sending local people with physical and learning difficulties on holidays and day trips. See his website for more details.
Here is an initial release of photos of the award ceremony (more to follow soon):