Yet they also share one Yorkshire trait – courage in the face of personal adversity – which has seen all three, and many others, rightly recognised in the Queen’s New Year honours.
It is just a year since Burrow was diagnosed with motor neurone disease – the worst Christmas present of all. Yet, despite this, the legendary rugby league player has become the focal point of an inspirational campaign to raise awareness about MND and the need for a cure.
Meanwhile countless cancer sufferers owe their lives to Champion, the North Yorkshire jockey who beat cancer to win the Grand National on Aldaniti. His charitable trust, set up in the wake of his tear-filled win in 1981 that offered hope to so many fighting the disease, has now raised over £15m.
And it is that word – hope – which embodies this triumvirate and defines the work of Kim Leadbeater who has become such a force for good in local communities after her sister Jo Cox, the Batley & Spen MP, was so cruelly murdered in 2016.
She and her parents have become standard-bearers for the politician’s “hope not hate” philosophy – a mantra shared by all the recipients of honours, from world-beating Covid vaccine scientists to humble shop staff going the extra mile to assist their customers during the pandemic.
They personify the very best of Yorkshire – and Britain – and their shining example is not only fully deserving of royal recognition but will also inspire others to put their local community, and good causes, first in 2021.
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