Sporting stars from across the country have thrown their weight behind Liverpool’s bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
An array of sports men and women—from heptathlon hopeful Katarina Johnson-Thompson to heavyweight champion Tony Bellew--have agreed to be ambassadors for the city’s bid, which will be submitted in around 13 months.
‘I'm delighted to get behind Liverpool's bid for the 2026 Commonwealth games,’ said Liverpool and England legend Jamie Carragher.
‘Liverpool is a sporting city, consistently producing world class sports men and women. It’s obvious to me that Liverpool is the perfect place to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.’
The bid has also drawn support from Liverpool’s sporting rivals, Manchester.
Leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, said: ‘Manchester and Liverpool might have a long tradition of sporting rivalry but Liverpool's bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games has Manchester's wholehearted support.
‘As great northern cities just down the M62 from each other, we recognise that what's good for one city is good for both and the North West of England. Playing host to this major international celebration of sport will provide a boost not just to Liverpool but the region as a whole.’
Mayor Joe Anderson said he was ‘delighted’ the city’s bid had attracted so much support and was confident the games would encourage regeneration and investment.
‘Liverpool is an ambitious city and I believe we have an enormous amount to offer when it comes to hosting an event of this scale which would be an incredibly important catalyst for regeneration, investment and raising the profile of sport,’ he said.
‘I’m delighted that we already have a raft of local sporting heroes backing our plans and our aim to host the most inclusive Commonwealth Games ever in 2026.’
In order to get the bid under way, a project director will be appointed to oversee the entire bid and an independent consultancy firm recruited to carry out a full feasibility study.
The Commonwealth Games General Assembly will make a final decision on who hosts the games in September 2019.