AFC BOURNEMOUTH boss Eddie Howe has been officially presented with his award and scroll after being given the freedom of the borough of Bournemouth.

Mr Howe received the borough’s highest honour for his efforts guiding Cherries from the foot of League Two to the Premier League and retaining the club’s top-flight status since 2015.

The 41-year-old’s award gives the former centre-back a number of special rights, including a reserved seat at council meetings and church services.

To date it is believed he has not made use of the former.

The presentation of his award and scroll at a unique civic event in the Mayor’s Parlour at Bournemouth Town Hall took place on Thursday afternoon.

This followed Bournemouth Borough Council’s final full council meeting in March, where the announcement of Mr Howe’s new status was officially made.

He was supported by his family and friends, to join a number of councillors and the Mayor of Bournemouth Susan Phillips.

“I am absolutely honoured and humbled to receive this award,” said Mr Howe.

“It means so much and I’m so grateful to everyone who has played a part in this.”

Mr Howe could now also wander goats or cattle in the borough.

And Cllr Phillips said she hoped he would take up this opportunity should he be inclined to do so.

“Amongst family and friends I extend the hand of friendship to you all and offer my personal congratulations,” said Cllr Phillips.

“The award was the highest mark of esteem that can be bestowed on to any resident of Bournemouth.”

Mr Howe became just the 28th Freeman of the Borough.

The honour was first awarded to The Rt Hon Frederick Sleigh Earl Roberts of Kandahar in October 1902.

Thursday’s gathering at the town hall also saw formal presentations to recognise the work of two long-standing members in the local authority scene.

Bob Chapman and Mike Filer were admitted as freemen and aldermen of the borough of Bournemouth in recognition of 37 and 34 years service to the council, respectively.

The pair are both not councillors on BCP Council having completed a prolonged stint in elected office.