In 2012 while London hosted the Olympic Games Liverpool Heartbeat put on our own version of the Olympics. In doing so we ruffled a few feathers with the Olmpics Committee, but they couldn't stop us, because Liverpool had the Olympics first!
150 years earlier a Scouser called John Hulley masterminded the 1st National Olympian Games in 1866.
Hulley was a maverick.
Whilst some questioned his sanity, others answered he was as "sane as a lawyer". He pushed boundaries through the way of life he lived. As a gymnast he knew the benefits of sport to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
His grave is inscribed with the latin phrase "Mens Sana in Corpore Sano"
which means "A healthy mind in a healthy body".
Hulley was doing "The Big Society" 150 years before the current government adopted the concept.
He began to define Olympism long before the formation of the International Olympic Committee. History showed his thinking influenced his two friends,
Dr Penny Brooks and Ravenstein, to think on a much larger scale. The result of his ideas and their work influenced the thinking of the young Coubertin to create the International Olympic Committee.
Hulley died aged 35yrs, imagine what he would have achieved had he lived longer. He is one of those people you know you would have loved to have met and whose presence must have filled a room.
Whilst we can guess he was physically strong there is no doubt he was mentally immense. His untimely death and the passing of time would not prevent the recognition and accolade he so richly deserves
And so began our two year campaign to have the mighty John Hulley recognised as a son of our great city.
If there is one lesson to be learnt from John Hulley's life, it is what can be achieved with clear vision, a steely determination and raw passion. These key life values supersede social backgrounds, education and age.