Mr Williams was presented with the honour by the Chairwoman of Blaenau Gwent Council, Mandy Moore, in recognition of his outstanding sporting achievements. He is the first sportsperson from the area to receive this accolade.
Hailing from the village of Cwm, and still resident in the local area, Mr Williams MBE can list many achievements in his impressive sporting career including winning the snooker world title three times, in 2000, 2003 and 2018. He is also one of only three players to win the ‘Triple Crown’ in the same season. This is the name given to the three most prestigious snooker tournaments - the UK Championship, Masters and World Championships.
Mr Williams was joined by his family at the Civic Centre for the ceremony, which was also attended by councillors who had unanimously approved the honour previously.
He said: “I have really been looking forward to today - it is a real privilege to be presented with the Freedom of the County Borough of Blaenau Gwent. I know that not many people have been honoured with this award and it is wonderful to be recognised for my success in playing the sport I love.”
Cllr Moore said:“We are extremely proud that Mark Williams has been awarded the Freedom of the County Borough of Blaenau Gwent. A very worthy recipient, Mr Williams is an inspiration and a role model to the young people of this borough and proves that if you work hard enough and believe you really can achieve your dreams.
“We’ll be watching closely and wish Mr Williams all the best when he defends his World title this April.”