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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Monday, February 17, 2003
    The Greatest Merseysider - must be Doddy???
    The BBC are asking us to vote in their poll to reveal the Greatest Merseysider. They provide a sample top ten, to provoke us into voting, I hope, rather than in seriousness, because there's only about three in there worth even a second thought. Non-starters, in my opinion, range from the faintly ridiculous (Ken Dodd, Cilla Black), through the really absurd (Lily Savage, Michael Owen - ha ha!!) to the frankly offensive (Edwina Currie). The real contenders must include John Lennon, William Gladstone, Michelle Lewis.

    If it ends up anyone other than Lennon, I'll be surprised. But the interest will lie in the peripheral votes; whether the likes of Michelle Lewis get included in the end list. I admit, I didn't know who Michelle Lewis was till I read the website today. A 20-year-old born with curvature of the spine and brain damage:
      Doctors told her parents she would never walk, but she proved the medics wrong. After a series of painful operations which began when she was seven, she learned to get around with the aid of callipers. She has since raised more than £1m for Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool. She finished second in the wheelchair section of the 2002 London marathon, and donated the £300,000 she collected to Macmillan Nurses. In the 2002 New Year Honours, Michelle was awarded the MBE for her charitable services to the community.
    It's folk like her who inspire us every bit as much as our proud memory of four-times prime minister Gladstone or world-changing lyricist Lennon, even though they only come into our lives more fleetingly.

    I really don't know who to vote for. The Merseysider who's been the most influential on me must be my mum; but I guess polls like this can't cope with such subtleties. Oh, blow it - I'll go for Ian McCullough. I know he would.