Golden welcome for Olympic champion Jessica Ennis

 

Jessica Ennis has been promised a "champion's welcome" with a golden theme when she returns to her home city on Friday.

Thousands of people are expected to gather in Sheffield city centre for a celebration of the gold medal-winning heptathlete's achievements before a formal civic reception.

And organisers have asked those coming to bring something or wear something gold to mark the occasion.

Despite being the face of London 2012, Ennis is still very much part of the city where she was born and brought up.

She still turns out to compete for the athletics club she joined at 13. She continues to live and train in Sheffield and has the same coach she had when she was a teenager.

And she is engaged to Andy Hill, a Sheffield boy she met when she was at school.

The welcome home event will take place outside the City Hall, in Barker's Pool - home to an 80ft (24m) high poster of Ennis and the postbox which has been painted gold in her honour.

An open-air celebration of her victory with music, sports activities and film is promised from 4pm, with the star of the show arriving after 6pm.

"Jessica is a world-beater, Olympic champion and, above all, a Sheffield girl and we want to welcome her home in style. We want to turn the city centre into a sea of gold," said Lord Mayor John Campbell.

"We have all followed her rise to Olympic glory over the years and now we cannot wait to see her back in her home city.

"She has done Sheffield proud and we want to celebrate her sporting prowess in the place where it all began.

"I'd urge Sheffielders to come and show their support for Jessica and join in the city's celebrations."

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