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RICH LIST OF TALENT; Polling has closed and the votes have been counted. So who are your 100 Greatest Merseysiders? PADDY SHENNAN reveals all ...


THERE is more than one Great Merseysider. There are more than 100 Great Merseysiders. But this rich list of talent proves one thing ...

That the region's greatest asset is its people.

It was compiled by YOU,after the ECHO joined forces with Radio Merseyside in a bid to answer the question: ``Who's theGreatest?''

And now it's time to celebrate the marvellous achievements of our marvellous ambassadors - in today's ECHO,in a special supplement and on BBC Radio Merseyside.

We would also like to thank those of you who took the time and trouble to think of who you wanted to nominate and then register your choice. Almost 5,000 votes were cast by people who picked up nomination forms from BBC Radio Merseyside HQ in Paradise Street, rang a voting hot line and logged onto the ECHO's website.

And you obviously had a field day deciding who should and shouldn't be named and praised.

Ken Dodd, the Squire of Knotty Ash, is now the King of Merseyside - and just look at his kingdom.

Greatness,like beauty, can be in the eye of the beholder - and this list will,no doubt, be debated loud and long by countless Merseysiders (including some of those in the 100).

``Merseysider'' could apply to those born outside the region who, nevertheless, are or were closely associated with the area. Likewise, those who were born and brought up here but fled as soon as fame arrived were also eligible for inclusion.

The list includes the usual and not-so-usual suspects. The old and the young. The living and the dead. The famous and the fairly obscure. Even a horse! (the wonderful Red Rum).

Only four Merseysiders - John Lennon,Sir Paul McCartney,John Peel and George Harrison - made BBC TV's Great Britons top 100, which makes ours a much better list!

Some of you may be holding your head in your hands and shouting: ``Jimmy Tarbrush at 99! How can this be? He shouldn't even be in a top 1000!''Others may be amazed - and disappointed - that's he's not up there with his old mucker,Cilla (23), if not ahead of the horse (15).

Perhaps Tarby's standing would be higher in a poll conducted in the South East.

Meanwhile, Cilla has again lost out to her far-from-bosom buddy Ricky Tomlinson. After their recent public spat the ECHO asked: ``Who is the greatest Scouser - Cilla or Ricky?'' Ricky won and in the top 100 he (at 19)is four places ahead of his rival.

In the fiercely-contested football world, Evertonians can claim the highest placing with record goalscorer Dixie Dean (4), with former club chairman, business leader and benefactor Sir John Moores the next football-related figure (7).

But there are six people in the list with major, past or present links with Liverpool FC, compared to four for Everton. It's only a game, but well done to Dean, Moores, Michael Owen, Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley,Billy Liddell,Robbie Fowler, Wayne Rooney, Ian Rush and Bill Kenwright.

And the title of youngest Greatest Merseysider to make the top 100 goes to 20-year-old Michelle Lewis. Well-known to ECHO readers for her tireless fundraising,Michelle,from Rainhill, was placedfifth.

The list, though,covers so many more fields than football - including comedy, music, writing, acting, fund-raising, industry and invention. And the names are as varied as the areas of expertise.

Among the lesser known names in the list are Sheikh Abdullah Quilliam,at number 85, who is credited with leading the first British Muslim community here in Liverpool.

The son of a watch manufacturer he was educated at Liverpool Institute and became a solicitor. He developed an interested in Islam after travelling to Morocco in 1882. Five years later he converted to Islam, took his Muslim name and set up the Liverpool Muslim Institute at Brougham Terrace, described as Britain's oldest mosque.

At number 81 is Charles Thompson,founder of the Charles Thompson Poor Children's Mission inWirral which opened its doors on January 9,1892. These days the mission is still there operating as a drop-incentre.

Music, naturally, is wellrepresented. As a point of explanation, it was decided to keep John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney as a combined vote - we couldn't split them up,because you couldn't.

Lee Mavers, of The La's fame, may have hidden himself from public view more than a decade ago,but he hasn't been forgotten (24).Nigel Blackwell, the low-key leader of Birkenhead band Half Man Half Biscuit,also likes to keep a low profile. Sorry,Nigel,but you'rein the list - at 57.

And last but not least,at number 100, is Kirkdale-born singing star Michael Holliday. His name might not ring bells with many people today,but in the 1950s he was a top recording artist.

There is more, so much more, about our top 100 Merseysiders in our special supplement.

The list is bound to be debated endlessly. So,again,100 thanks to all those of you who have given so many people so much to talk about.

Until, that is, it's time for the next list to be compiled!

100 Greatest Merseysiders - on sale from Tuesday priced pounds 1


1Ken Dodd

2 JohnLennon/Paul McCartney

3 Noel Chavasse

4 Dixie Dean

5 Michelle Lewis

6 Kitty Wilkinson

7 Sir John Moores

8 Bessie Braddock

9 William Gladstone

10 MichaelOwen

11Dr Duncan

12 Lord Leverhulme

13 Bill Shankly

14 George Harrison

15Red Rum

16 Alan Bleasdale

17 Father Francis O Leary

18Billy Fury

19Ricky Tomlinson

20 Lily Savage

21William Roscoe

22 RingoStarr

23 CillaBlack

24Lee Mavers

25Simon Rattle

26 EricHardy

27 Billy Butler

28Bob Paisley

29Maggie May

30 Mel C

31Billy Liddell

32 AnneRobinson

33 Robbie Fowler

34 Tom Baker

35 Arthur Dooley

36 John Peel

37 Wayne Rooney

38 Johnny Vegas

39 Arthur Askey

40 Joseph Williamson

41Alexei Sayle

42 Roger Phillips

43 William Rathbone

44 Brian Jacques

45 Willy Russell

46 Pete Burns

47 Beth Tweddle

48 Harold Wilson

49 Ian Rush

50 Kenny Everett

51Capt Johnny Walker

52 Alex Murphy

53 Bill Kenwright

54 Frankie Vaughan

55 Gerry Marsden

56 Rex Harrison

57 Nigel Blackwell

58 Andy McCluskey

59 Stan Boardman

60 William Huskisson

61Bernard Hill

62 IanMcCulloch

63 Jack Jones

64 Frank Hornby

65 Margaret Simey

66 Tommy Handley

67 Patricia Routledge

68 David Sheppard

69 John Laird

70 Pete Price

71Derek Nimmo

72 CherieBlair

73 Linda McDermott

74 Derek Worlock

75 Simon Weston

76 Tom Murphy

77 Libor Pesek

78 James Barton

79 Father Nugent

80 Beryl Bainbridge

81Charles Thompson

82 LeonardRossiter

83 Bob Azurdia

84 William Rodgers

85 Abdullah Quilliam

86 Rita Tushingham

87 Stephen Yip

88 Rex Makin

89 Joan Jonker

90 Lord Pilkington

91Peter Sissons

92 LordAlton

93 Sir Terry Leahy

94 Eleanor Rathbone

95 Adrian Henri

96 Glenda Jackson

97 Roger McGough

98 Brian Epstein

99 Jimmy Tarbuck

100 Michael Holliday


TIRELESS FUNDRAISER: Michelle Lewis, the youngest Greatest Merseysider.Below,Michael; Holliday,left,and Charles Thompson; WINNER: Ken Dodd, the Squireof Knotty Ash, is now the King of Merseyside; LEADER: Sheikh Abdullah Quilliam; LOW-KEY:Nigel Blackwell
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 11, 2003
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