‘I wonder what Dad would have made of it’

SIR GARY Verity credits his late father Geoffrey for providing the inspiration which has culminated with the tourism boss becoming Yorkshire’s latest knight of the realm.
Gary and Anne Verity.Gary and Anne Verity.
Gary and Anne Verity.

“I did wonder, when I received the letter from the Cabinet Office, what my dad would have made it,” said the 50-year-old. “He was a very good Dad when I was growing up in Leeds. “He was a master joiner – but he was also a great sportsman. He used to take me to the rugby league, the cricket... the big one was Leeds United. He took me to Elland Road when I was old enough and we had season tickets.

“He’s the reason why sport has meant so much to me. It meant we could spend time together. When I was old enough, and became more successful, I bought the season tickets for the both of us. I always remember I had a Royal Enfield racing bike. It was second hand when I got it and it probably had a respray.

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“It was tough for my Dad and my mother Jean. I couldn’t always go on school trips, but they were there for me and my bicycle was my pride and joy. Little did I know the extent to which cycling would become so important to my life. It’s been some journey – but it is not over yet.”

Given the family’s working class roots, it probably explains why this proud son of Yorkshire intends to celebrate his accolade with a fish and chip supper – washed down by a point of locally-brewed beer.