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KCOM vans renamed to honour Hull legends

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Sporting greats, local legends and towering historical figures are all being honoured as KCOM unveils the results of a poll to name its vans after famous Hull folk.

The communications company announced a competition earlier this year to name each of the 95 vans in its fleet after famous Hullensians or those who have contributed significantly to life in the city.

And now the final list can be revealed with everyone from political heavyweight William Wilberforce to footballing hero Nick Barmby being nominated to have a van named after them.

KCOM’s chief marketing officer, Cathy Phillips, said she has been delighted with the response to the scheme as well as the wide variety of names voted for by the public.

She said: “It’s great that so many people have got involved naming the vans and have been so passionate about nominating their heroes.

“The sheer range of people nominated, from pioneers such as Amy Johnson to rugby legend Clive Sullivan and poet Elsa Gidlow shows what a rich and diverse city Hull is – and what a huge amount it has contributed to the world.

“It’s especially important in this UK City of Culture year that we celebrate all that Hull has to offer and the remarkable people who have helped make it what it is.”

Among on the names representing the world of sport on the vans are Hull City’s Wembley hero Dean Windass, pioneering female boxer Barbara Buttrick, Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell, Hull FC legend Johnny Whiteley and Hull KR’s Roger Millward.

From the world of culture will be vans dedicated to Hull playwright Richard Bean, ballet dancer Xander Parish, Oscar nominated filmmaker Chris Hees and comedian Lucy Beaumont.

And figures from history to be honoured include Sir John Hotham, philanthropist Thomas Ferens, mathematician John Venn and Second World War Spitfire ace Ronald “Ras” Berry.

Leading the way with the most nominations is Jean “Bee Lady” Bishop who was the most popular choice by some distance with dozens of votes.

Jean, who has been given van number 95 in honour of her 95th birthday in April, said she was deeply moved to have won the public vote.

She said: “It’s really great. It’s a bit of a surprise, I’m sure there are people more worthy of it than me, but I’m delighted that people have thought me worthy of voting for. I’ll be honoured to have my name on a van driving around Hull all year. I just wonder what’s coming next? It all just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”

KCOM engineer, Kevin Leighton, is especially delighted with the name his van will sport.

After hearing about the initiative, he requested that Hull City and England legend Nick Barmby be on the side of his vehicle.

KCOM decided to go a step further and asked the former footballer to surprise the engineer at the company’s Salvesen Way offices.

Lured into the office for a meeting, Kevin was then asked to fetch equipment from his van to find Barmby stood by his name on the driver’s door.

A gobsmacked Kevin, 40, from west Hull, said: “I can’t believe it to be honest. I’ve supported Hull City all my life and Nick Barmby is a massive hero of mine, so when I heard we were naming the vans I was determined to get his name on the side of mine. I didn’t think for a second that I’d get the real thing stood here though. I’m a bit speechless to be honest.”

Asked how he felt about having a van named after him Nick Barmby, said: “I’m not sure, it’s never happened before. But it’s really nice that people have thought of me and that Kev has specifically asked for me on the side of his van. I’m honoured really.”

Nick, who has been given van number eight to match his shirt number, added that if he could name a van after someone he would choose another Hull sporting legend, Clive Sullivan.

A full list of all 95 van names and a biography of each person successfully nominated can be found at https://www.kcomhome.com/hull2017vans/

Van spotters will be able to download a Van Bingo card at the website to mark off each one they see out .

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