04/06/2024 15comments  |  Jump to last

Michael Cullen, who rose to fame as "Speedo Mick" for his weather-defying outfit as he walked the length and breadth of Britain in aid of charity, was recently made a Citizen of Honour by the City of Liverpool.

Inaugurated during Liverpool's year as European City of Culture in 2008, the certificate recognises people who have made an exceptional contribution to the image of the city.

Cullen, who has also swum the English Channel (regrettably wearing red Speedos!) and climbed four different mountains in other fundraising efforts, has raised over £1m to date and he was handed the award by Lord Mayor, Councillor Mary Rasmussenat, during a ceremony at Liverpool Town Hall last month. 

"I'm absolutely thrilled," Mick said at the time. "I'm over the moon about it because it's from the city of Liverpool it makes it all the more special to me.

"I can't thank everybody enough for all the support. It means the world to me.”

Speaking later to evertonfc.com, Mick explained:

“Throughout everything I’ve done, the fans have always supported me and been an integral part of all that’s been achieved. They were there from the beginning and they drove me through it all.

“I think it if wasn’t for the support of the club and the fans, I don't think that I could have gone on. Maybe for a year or two, but not for nine years of solid support from everyone.

“What Everton did was give me a massive grandstand to be able to do what I do. I can’t thank the club enough.”

Mick's heroics and jaw-dropping determination to see through his walking challenges in all weather are testament to the way he has turned his life around following struggles with addition and used the way he has used the desire to rebuild his family as his inspiration and purpose.

“The manifestation was the fact that I freed myself from the bondage of alcohol, drugs and addiction,” he said. “There were a lot of other layers as well, in terms of pointing fingers, blaming people and me not taking responsibility.

“For a very long time, for years, I just didn't know how to stop being destructive and burning bridges. Thankfully, I got help and was shown that I didn’t need to be living that way anymore and that was the catalyst for doing what I did.

“The people at the addiction organisation who helped me, said, 'We don't want anything from you. We just want you to give something back’.

“I found a freedom and I started to get my family back in my life. I was excited and thrilled to be freed of all that heavy stuff, even though I had still had a lot of stuff to work through, and still do today.

“I've got a programme that helps me get through that stuff without being destructive again, and I was just so excited that I did a few marathons and triathlons, then swam the channel, both as goals and personal challenges for myself, but also to raise a few quid for charity.

“Basically, I got a second bite at the cherry and took a really big bite.”

His next project is the The Speedo Mick Foundation which aims to support small grassroot charities providing support for mental health, disadvantaged young people and homelessness that also includes the foundation of a music group to provide therapy for people with mental health issues.



Reader Comments (15)

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Peter Moore
1 Posted 04/06/2024 at 21:58:24
Hey Mick, Just wanna say what an absolute top human being I think you are. The award is absolutely and thoroughly deserved. You are doubtless an inspiration to countless other human beings.

The People's Club? You sir, are the People's Champion.

As Toffees, we have not had loads to be proud of in terms of award-winning on-pitch footballing achievement, have we? You though, have been a shining Blue Budgie smuggling Beacon of the Best of the Evertonian Spirit.

Massive thanks for the uplifting joy you have given through your good humoured, but super human achievements.

Wishing you happiness and health always, Mick. You Sir, are a living legend. Cheers and UTT.

Jerome Shields
2 Posted 05/06/2024 at 07:58:11
Well deserved, Mick.Speedos used to be so common, rolled back the years for me.

Raised so much money for worthy charities and continuing to do so. Well done.

Dave Cashen
3 Posted 05/06/2024 at 08:19:34
Wonderful post, Peter.

It's not often that one individual can speak for all, but I think you may have just pulled it off.

Mark Ryan
4 Posted 05/06/2024 at 09:24:18
What Peter said and three cheers for Speedo Mick, top man!
Dale Rose
5 Posted 05/06/2024 at 11:56:42
Top bloke. Great to see someone who deserves it getting the honours.
Peter Mills
6 Posted 05/06/2024 at 12:45:50
Well done, Mick, on all the challenges you have confronted.
Bob Parrington
7 Posted 05/06/2024 at 13:20:19
Peter said it all. I can't truly enlarge on all that he wrote. Well done Speedo Mick! It's people like that we need to look up to.
Raymond Fox
8 Posted 05/06/2024 at 13:55:08
Fantastic Mick, a great honour and I'm glad to hear you're doing good in yourself.

Your biggest achievement for me is not your marathons or channel swim etc, its being out in all weathers just in your speedos. It's a wonder you didnt freeze to death.

Dennis Stevens
9 Posted 05/06/2024 at 14:04:14
Fully deserved! All the best with your next endeavours, Mick.
Tony Abrahams
10 Posted 05/06/2024 at 14:09:02
What an inspiration Speedo Mick, became.

Stop pointing the finger, and blaming others, but start looking inside ourselves instead and trying to do the things that we are good at.

It could be the rallying call for our football club, with my biggest wish for whoever takes over Everton being that they have both the know how and intelligence to help us regain our pride.

Dale Self
11 Posted 05/06/2024 at 16:50:31
I would have a beer or two with that man, right on Mick.
Michael Murphy
12 Posted 05/06/2024 at 17:39:29
Well done, Mr Cullen! A long overdue recognition of your efforts, an inspiration to us all.
Danny O’Neill
13 Posted 05/06/2024 at 18:03:07
Great recognition for him.

Not just the physical endurance he put himself through. His honesty about his journey in life and battles with mental health are equal.

He should be given a free pass to Everton for life. Everton in the Community does great work. What better an individual to be part of it?

Jack Convery
14 Posted 06/06/2024 at 09:36:31
So well deserved. We need more people of Micks ilk. Congratulations on this award.
Paul Birmingham
15 Posted 09/06/2024 at 16:46:23
True grit, inspirational Mick and a great Evertonian, and well deserved.

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