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Savile scandal could cost him place in GNR Hall of Fame

HONOURED ... Sir Jimmy Savile was inducted into the Great North Run Hall of Fame in 2009.

HONOURED ... Sir Jimmy Savile was inducted into the Great North Run Hall of Fame in 2009.

SIR Jimmy Savile’s name could be removed from Great North Run Hall of Fame, after raccusations he abused children.

Four police forces are now investigating complaints that the former Top of the Pops host, who died a year ago, aged 84, raped and sexually assaulted girls in the 1960s and 1970s.

As a result, the Jim’ll Fix It star could lose his place among those who have made the Newcastle to South Shields race one of the nation’s most popular sporting fixtures.

David Hart, communications director at race organisers Nova International, said the firm had never before had to consider taking out someone who had been inducted to the Hall of Fame.

He said: “He was a big supporter of our events and he helped raise huge sums of money for charity. We’re monitoring the situation and will keep an open mind at this early stage.

“In all the time he was associated with us there was never any suggestion of any improper behaviour in or around the events.”

Despite the allegations, Edna Thompson from Marsden, South Shields, is standing by her lifelong friend.

The 93-year-old said: “I knew Jimmy for 50 years, and the things they are saying in no way tally with the man I knew.

“Why did these people not come forward when he was alive so he had a chance to defend himself?”

Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile was inducted into the Great North Run Hall of Fame in 2009 and is described on the Nova website as a “universally popular” figure who “was recognised for the vast contribution he has made, particularly with the highly popular junior runs”.

In the documentary, Exposed: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile broadcast on Wednesday, five women claimed they were indecently assaulted by the TV and radio personality when they were schoolgirls in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazVez

 
 
 

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