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One of the great stories of 2019 has been how one man from Sheffield, Tony Foulds, managed to bring the UK and US together in a wonderful show of unity and remembrance for a special flypast on February 22 to mark the 75th anniversary of the crash of the USAF Bomber Mi Amigo.
The story began back in January when Tony's lifelong devotion to a memorial for the Mi Amigo crew was brought to public attention by BBC presenter Dan Walker. As more people took notice of Tony's incredible tribute, and the circumstances which led him to spend his life remembering the 10 American Airmen who died in the crash were revealed, the US Embassy, US Ambassador Woody Johnson and the US Air Force in the UK stepped forward and arranged a flypast of American planes on the 75th anniversary of the day the Mi Amigo crashed, allowing Americans and Brits to come together to celebrate both the Special Relationship as well as Tony's great example.
Now, some more wonderful news has emerged - appropriately on Independence Day July 4th - that Tony is to be honored by his hometown of Sheffield with a star on the city's Town Hall. A star dedicated to Tony will be placed on the city's Legend's Hall of Fame during a ceremony on July 8, at 1:30pm. Tony will become the 21st Sheffielder to receive the honor, with his name displayed alongside an eclectic mix of local personalities including actor Sean Bean, rock band Def Leppard and British long distance runner Sebastian Coe.
Discussing the honor, Tony said that "It's fair to say 2019 has been an amazing year. There will be a tear in my eye on Monday and I'm thrilled of course, but my first thought will always be to the memorial at Endcliffe Park. This is a proud moment but I'm just glad that those boys have been given the recognition they so deserved."
Tony will be joined by Dan Walker, who played an important role in bringing the story to public attention. Walker explained "Tony is a very special man. Meeting him and organising the flypast to remember those 10 US airmen has been the most amazing thing to be involved in. Tony has had a big influence on me and so many others in Sheffield and in countries all over the world. It is lovely to see his dedication marked with a special star in the city he loves."
The Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Cllr Tony Downing said "Many citizens from Sheffield make a significant impact at national and international level, but none more so than Tony, who with the help of Dan Walker, put Sheffield well and truly on the world map with a magnificent Flypast organised by the US Airforce and RAF ... It was an amazing day that will live long in Sheffielders' collective memory and I'm happy to be able to honour him in this way."
Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Lesiure at Sheffield City Council, said: "The flypast, broadcast live on BBC Breakfast, was inspired by Tony Foulds. In its appreciation the Council is honouring him with a Sheffield Legend award."