WHEN someone is given an honour that has been awarded to the likes of Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela, you’d think they’d be a pretty big name themselves.

But an Essex osteopath has become the latest person to be awarded the Freedom of the City of London.

James di Cicco, 29, who works for the Cedar Hall clinics, in Kings Street, Stanford-le-Hope and Hart Road, Thundersley, was granted the honour after transforming a man’s life. while he was working at the British College of Osteopathic Medicine in London.

He said: “While studying, I did some work in the university clinic and one of our patients was having shoulder problems.

“It was a long chronic injury and he was coming in for about three months.

“After we discharged him, he was really happy. He went from not being able to move his shoulder to full movement.

“He said he wanted to thank me and the next thing I knew he’d nominated me. I was flattered, but I didn’t know he would do something like that.”

Usually, up to 1,800 people are awarded the honour each year.

The granting of the Freedom of the City of London is believed to date back to 1237 and, by tradition, there are a number of rights allowed to freemen, such as the right to drive sheep or cattle over London Bridge and if found drunk and incapable by police to be put in a taxi home as opposed to a cell.

James, from Chelmsford, said he had no plans to participate in either activity adding: “I can’t see myself doing such things, especially carrying a sword in public, which is another privilege.”

The ceremony where James will be given the award will be at the Guildhall in London on Friday, March 21.

The roll call of famous names to get the honour include: Winston Churchill, Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela, Florence Nightingale , Michael Caine, Bob Geldof, Stephen Fry, Barbara Windsor, Bill Gates, JK Rowling, and Dame Judi Dench.