SPORTING heroes Ella Toone and Keely Hodgkinson have been celebrated on International Women's Day with the announcement that the pair will receive a star on Wigan Borough’s Walk of Fame.

In preparation of the global event, which celebrates female achievements and brings attention to issues facing women, Wigan Council agreed that Ella Toone and Keely Hodgkinson should be awarded a 'Believe' star at a full council meeting last week.

READ > Keely Hodgkinson leads tributes to 'great man' Joe Galvin who touched lives of many

Leigh Journal: Ella played a huge part of the Lionesses' Euros win last yearElla played a huge part of the Lionesses' Euros win last year (Image: PA)

With their sporting achievements, the former Fred Longworth pupils have become great role models for women and girls in the borough.

Tyldesley-born Ella Toone was part of the winning Lionesses squad in the UEFA Women’s EURO tournament last summer, with the Manchester United midfielder scoring the opening goal in the final against Germany.

Atherton-based Keely Hodgkinson broke the British record for her silver-medal race in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, and recently retained her 800m European Indoor Championship gold medal in Istanbul.

Trained at Leigh Harriers Athletics Club, Keely will join her trainers, the late Joe Galvin and his wife Margaret on the walk of fame.

Leigh Journal: Keely dedicated her European Indoor Championship win to Joe GalvinKeely dedicated her European Indoor Championship win to Joe Galvin (Image: PA)

Councillor David Molyneux MBE, Leader of Wigan Council, said: “I’m so pleased to announce that, after such a successful year for both Ella and Keely, they will be recognised with a star in Leigh.

“They have both well and truly put our borough on the map and they are so deserving of this recognition.”

Leigh Journal: Ella and Keely both came from Tyldesley high school Fred LongworthElla and Keely both came from Tyldesley high school Fred Longworth (Image: Fred Longworth)

Alison Mckenzie-Folan, chief executive of Wigan Council, added: “International Women’s Day offered the perfect opportunity to announce Ella and Keely’s stars, for which they are worthy recipients.

“The legacy of their contribution to our communities will last for years to come and we know they have inspired so many boys and girls to get into sport, continuing to build on our borough’s impressive sporting history.”

Their names will be added alongside charity fundraisers, actors, and sportspeople in recognition of their contribution to Wigan Borough.

A ceremony will take place to formally install each of the stars later in 2023.

Leigh Journal: Joe and Margaret Galvin received a 'Believe' star in 2022Joe and Margaret Galvin received a 'Believe' star in 2022 (Image: Wigan Council)

Ahead of International Women's Day, Journal readers also shared the inspirational women in their lives:

Peter Timson said: "My wife. She has been through so much. COVID pneumatic. Coma for 2 months. Sepsis, blood clots, has now got COPD. Has never given up even though she can't breathe and is on blood thinners all of her life. From being a successful businesswoman to not being able to wash herself, Walk without aids. She's my rock even though I have had to finish work to care for her she still tries her best to care for me."

Lisa Angela Hart said: "My mum first always ... but a close second is my daughters god mother. She is amazing. The love she has for my little girl makes me know she will always have someone special to reply on throughout her life. We love her

Jenna Marie Morris said: "My mum, best friend and absolute super woman! Love her more than she will ever know

Debbie Anne Lucas said: "My mum always and forever. She sadly passed away many year's ago but she'll always be my hero."

Denise Boydell said: "My mum who we lost 12 months ago , she is sadly missed."