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DNA pioneer Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys is County's number one!

[Leicester Mercury story, November 26]
He's been knighted and made a freeman of the city. Now Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys is officially the greatest.

A flurry of calls and letters has seen the genetic fingerprinting pioneer acclaimed as Leicestershire's most outstanding individual.

Sir Alec Jeffreys won nearly a third of the hundreds of votes cast by Leicester Mercury readers.

"I am absolutely speechless, really, really delighted," he said.

"It is deeply flattering and rather humbling."

RAF spitfire pilot Johnnie Johnson, who shot down more enemy planes than any other Allied airman during the Second World War, finished second.

It was a three-way tie for third with City legend Gary Lineker, jet engine inventor Frank Whittle and broadcaster, former University of Leicester student and honorary graduate David Attenborough taking 11 per cent of the votes each.

"I can't believe I beat Gary Lineker," said Sir Alec Jeffreys. "He's a wonderful guy. I was absolutely convinced he would walk it - especially with all he is doing for the football club at the moment."

The University of Leicester Professor uncovered the secret to the unique biological code held by each and every individual in 1984.

The DNA detection tool scored its first major success by snaring Colin Pitchfork for the murders of local schoolgirls Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth.

Since then it has helped bring thousands of criminals to justice.

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Last updated: 28 November 2002 10:55
Created by: Rachel Tunstall

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