The ‘City of Champions’ gala dinner is an annual event that aims to acknowledge and celebrate the success of people in the areas of sport, education and business, who are giving back to the next generation of champions.

LAS VEGAS – JUNE 23: Ricky Hatton of Great Britain reacts after knocking out Jose Luis Castillo of Mexico in the fourth round during their junior welterweight bout at Thomas & Mack Center on June 23, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Manchester City Council in partnership with the official charity partner the Diane Modahl Sports Foundation are delighted to announce that this year’s inductees, who will stand alongside previous inductees including Beth Tweddle MBE, Col. Dame Kelly Holmes, Rio Ferdinand, Tracey Neville MBE and Sir Chris Hoy, will include England Women’s Football Captain Stephanie Houghton MBE (below right); CEO of leading, social-first marketing agency Social Chain and award-winning entrepreneur, Steven Bartlett (below left); and British Professional boxer and sporting legend, Ricky Hatton MBE (left).

At last year’s event the Foundation introduced the B Inspired Award that recognises and awards a hidden gem who has made an impact or contribution to the development of expressive art.  Last year grime artist Bugzy Malone received the Award, one of the most successful independent artists in the UK, with almost 250m streams and nearly 200,000 album sales to date.

The 2019 B Inspired award will go to lead dancer [in Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance] and former world champion, James Keegan, who will also perform at the event.  James’s achievements continue to inspire a new generation of artists.

Organised by Olympian Diane Modahl MBE, the Diane Modahl Sports Foundation, (DMSF) and Manchester City Council, the evening offers local businesses the chance to rub shoulders and dine with sportsmen and women from a number of fields. The North West-based charity champions young people from disadvantaged areas in the region and aims to help empower them in all areas of life.

Co-founder and CEO of DMSF, Diane Modahl, said: “All our inductees are truly inspirational, passing on vital messages of ambition and resilience. These messages have the opportunity to resonate with young people because of the impact, successes and focus they have demonstrated. All three have proven that anyone can achieve their own ambitions, no matter how big their dreams are.

Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: “The City of Champions ceremony is a night where we celebrate some of the many inspirational figures who have emerged from our diverse and vibrant city in sports, the arts and in business.  As we continue to invest in world-class sport and leisure facilities to give Manchester residents the opportunity to pursue their dreams, we also pay tribute to the individuals who stand out as champions for our young people to look to as examples that anything is possible.”

Andy Burnham Mayor of Greater Manchester said:I’m extremely proud that the city of Manchester are to induct Stephanie Houghton MBE, Steven Bartlett and Ricky Hatton MBE into the City of Champions Hall of Fame.  This event recognises and celebrates those individuals whose impact across Greater Manchester has shaped not only our way of lives, but globally.  More importantly their success have provided opportunities that drive not only this wonderful city forward, but their generosity to give back will continue to support the next generation.

“It’s also important to recognise individuals who are just starting on their own journeys, a generation of emerging champions who are coming through and seeking their own opportunity to make a difference.

The Gala Dinner will be a winner on both fronts – for those at the very top of their fields and those who are just waiting for their chance to be seen and heard.” 

Click here to read more about Stephanie’s induction.

Diane Modahl, commented: “Congratulations to Stephanie on her induction into the City of Champions Hall of Fame.  A truly worthy inductee and a brilliant leader both on and off the football pitch.  Throughout her career Stephanie has remained confident and professional, focusing on her goals and what she needs to do in order to achieve them.

She is an incredible inspiration to young sportsmen and women across the city and country, demonstrating resolve at every stage of her career. Her dedication, passion and focus is exactly what is needed to encourage young people to reach their full potential”.  

Click here to read more about Steven’s induction.

Diane Modahl, commented: “Congratulations to Steven on his induction into the City of Champions Hall of Fame. Steven has vision. He saw social media as something incredibly powerful but undervalued by many, and spotted a niche that Social Chain has very successfully filled. He speaks openly about the true positives and negatives of running a business, including how good judgment will only develop if you truly learn from your mistakes

A perfect lesson to share with the young people with the Foundation.”

Tickets are now on sale for the 2019 City of Champions Gala Dinner, which will take place on Thursday 31 October, 6.30pm at The Hilton Deansgate, Manchester.

The Gala Dinner is an important fundraiser for the official charity partner the Diane Modahl Sports Foundation (DMSF). The proceeds will directly support young people and their families. DMSF work within the top 20% areas of deprivation, using sport as a vehicle change to build character and develop behaviours that are ultimately transferable throughout their whole lives.

Tickets are expected to sell fast! For more information on table and fantastic brand opportunities please contact