SUNDERLAND legend Niall Quinn is to be awarded the freedom of the north-eastern city.
Quinn, who played for, managed and was chairman of Sunderland Football Club, was named as the recipient of the honour by the City Council.
The 46-year-old ex-Ireland international will be honoured at a ceremony in November, alongside Joel Batteux – the mayor of the city’s twin town, St Nazaire, in Western France.
Quinn is particularly loved in the city for when he broke with tradition and donated the total proceeds from his 2002 testimonial game to charities including children’s hospitals in Sunderland, Dublin and India.
Sunderland's former striker took over as chairman in 2006, before moving into the role as the club's head of international development in 2011.
He left the Stadium of Light last year.
The ceremony in November will be the fourth occasion on which people have received this honour since Sunderland gained city status in 1992.