‘I was beginning to think there’d been a mistake’

Jimmy Cricket's Lancashire Evening Post columnJimmy Cricket has been reliving the moment he was told he had been awarded a Papal Knighthood by Pope Francis.

The famous entertainer, 70, tells Lancashire Evening Post readers in his latest monthly column that he thought there had been a mistake at first.

“It was a Friday afternoon in early October when Father Joe Sweeney, my  local parish priest from St Patrick’s (here in Rochdale) turned up at my door,” he recalls.

“As I brought him into the living room, I noticed he was carrying a large package.

“He said: ‘Jimmy, I’ve got a surprise for you. Would you like to sit down?’ He then opened the package to reveal a large certificate written in Latin.”

Adds Jimmy: “As he handed it to me and I looked closer, I could make out my real name in large letters – Jacob Joseph Mulgrew. As my full name is James Joseph Mulgrew, I was beginning to think there’d been a mistake.

“Then it dawned on me. Jacob must be Latin for James. Then I started to get excited.”

The veteran comedian was told he had been awarded a Papal Knighthood for all the work he had done over the years in support of charitable causes.

Jimmy was invested as a Knight of the Pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great in a special Mass at St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in January, presided over by the Bishop of the Diocese of Salford, Rt Rev John Arnold.

His LEP column for March continues: “All in all I was thrilled and humbled in equal degree at such an honour bestowed on me.

“Among some of the people who have received Papal Knighthoods in the past are Matt Busby, Bob Hope and Oskar Schindler. So you can see I’m in illustrious company.”

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