New Year honours for leading figures in sport, the Olympics and Paralympics
After the controversy over her omission from the BBC sports personality of the year shortlist, world taekwondo champion Sarah Stevenson, received an MBE for services to martial arts in a list of sports-related honours that also looked forward to next year’s London Olympics and Paralympics.
Two men responsible for building the stadiums and arenas for the 2012 games were honoured. There was a knighthood for John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, and a CBE for his director of construction, Howard Shiplee.
Charles Allen, the former boss of ITV and now a board member of the London 2012 organising committee, has also been knighted. There was an MBE for Neil Robinson, coach of the Paralympics Team GB table tennis team.
Among the professional competitors, there were OBEs for the Northern Ireland golfers Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy, who both won majors this year, and an MBE for Scotland’s most capped rugby union player, Chris Paterson, a week after he announced his retirement from international rugby. The same honour went to Jamie Peacock, the England rugby league captain and Leeds Rhinos prop forward.
In cricket, following a year in which the England test team topped the world rankings, Giles Clarke, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, received a CBE and the retired umpire from Barnsley, Harold “Dickie” Bird, received an OBE at the age of 78 for services to the game and charity. Valjee Umesh, the captain of England’s deaf cricket team, was awarded an MBE.
On the racetrack Adrian Newey, the technical director behind the Formula One world champion, Sebastian Vettel, was awarded an OBE for services to motorsport, while Nigel Mansell, the F1 world champion in 1992, received a CBE, not for any feats behind a steering wheel, but for his role as president of the charity UK Youth, which promotes non-formal learning for young people.
Doug Ellis, who ran Birmingham-based football club Aston Villa for more than two decades, was also honoured for his charitable services, receiving a knighthood.
There were several gongs for swimming coaches, including Mary Maunder at St Joseph’s swimming club in Cardiff, and Valerie Mellor, president of the Satellites swimming club in Macclesfield, who both received MBEs. Michael Read, president of the Channel Swimming Association, received the same honour.
In boxing Frank O’Sullivan, the veteran amateur coach and founder of Birmingham City Amateur Boxing Club, was given an MBE, while the 11 times British triathlon champion and three times European triathlon champion, Prof Sarah Springman, was awarded a CBE for her services to the sport.
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