Pride of Britain: Stephen Wharton presented with his award
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Gee Walker’s son Anthony Walker was killed in a racially-motivated attack in 2005 when he was just 18. The brave mum from Liverpool who went on to forgive his killers and found the Anthony Walker Foundation was presented with the Special Recognition Pride of Britain by EastEnders stars Diane Parish, Danny Dyer and Rudolph Walker. Denise Fox star Diane choked up as she hailed the mum an inspiration.
The Anthony Walker Foundation has worked with 40,000 young people and supported almost 10,000 people who have been victims of hate crimes in the last five years.
After receiving her award, Gee said: “Standing up there, I didn’t realise the enormity of it, the positive that has come out of this evil.
“Grief can consume you and control you, and I thank God that he has given me the strength to not allow it to control me.
“Together all we can do is try to make a change and do good.”
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The mum noted her son Anthony would be “enormously proud” of her and the work she has done in his name.
Choking up, BBC soap star Diane said: “I am very proud of her.
“I applaud her for the altruism and the love that she has shown to take us forward and to inspire everyone to do better.”
She inspires me as a mother, as a human being,” she added.
Danny commented: “The hatred and the division in this day and age needs to be addressed now because it can’t go on anymore.
“Gee is such an important woman and her strength – I’m just astounded by it, to be honest, and honoured to be standing next to her.”
Last year, the BBC aired a drama reimagining what life could have been like for the murdered 18-year-old if it hadn’t been for that tragic night on July 29, 2005.
Anthony saw the aspiring lawyer achieve his career ambitions, get married and watch the birth of his daughter.
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It was written by Hillsborough’s Jimmy McGovern and based on conversations he had with Gee.
Elsewhere, Penny Lancaster and Rod Stewart opened up on the importance of the Pride of Britain awards.
The Loose Women panellist said: “With the pandemic, we realised how important the emergency services and the NHS were.
“I think this is a perfect opportunity to be able to have the unsung heroes and the emergency services celebrated. So this is why we’re so proud.”
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“It makes you really proud to be British,” Rod added.
Sharing his thoughts on the awards, Phillip Schofield praised the positivity the night brings.
“There’s so much negativity in the world,” the This Morning presenter noted.
“There’s a lot of negative views and when you look at a night like this, it’s incredible. There’s still incredible people doing amazing things.”
Watch the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, in partnership with TSB, tonight, ITV, 8pm.
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