Ian Wright and Sarah Hunter among sports stars recognised in honours list
Written by First Choice Radio on 16 June 2023
Former England footballer Ian Wright and ex-England rugby captain Sarah Hunter are among the sporting stars who have been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours list.
Hunter, who won a record 141 caps and was part of the team which won the 2014 World Cup, has become a CBE, and is one of a number of influential women on the list which also includes former UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl, former England football star Eniola Aluko, ex-England cricketer Lydia Greenway and darts player Fallon Sherrock.
Nicholl, who led UK Sport during a period of unprecedented success for Great Britain in Olympic and Paralympic sport between 2010 and 2019, has been given a damehood.
Nicholl said she felt “overwhelmed” by the honour and added: “It has been a real privilege to serve in various roles in sport over the last 40-plus years, working alongside really talented colleagues, and I take huge delight in seeing the recent significant growth in opportunities for women and girls to enjoy participating in sport, both in the UK and internationally.
“I feel incredibly privileged to have now been awarded the honour of becoming a Dame.”
Greenway, the Cricket For Girls founder and a four-time Ashes winner, becomes an OBE while Aluko, who won 102 caps for the Lionesses, has been made an MBE.
Sherrock, 28, has been made an MBE for services to her sport. She made history in 2019 by becoming the first woman to win a match at the PDC World Championship and this year became the first woman to throw a nine-dart finish at a PDC event.
Wright, a very vocal ally for women’s football, becomes an OBE for services to football and charity. The 59-year-old, who starred as a striker for Arsenal, Crystal Palace and England, is now a popular broadcaster for the BBC and ITV.
The list does not feature former rugby league stars Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrow, despite fresh calls for the pair to be further recognised for their work raising awareness of motor neurone disease and raising money for research into the condition.
Burrow was diagnosed with the incurable condition in 2019, and his friend Sinfield has since raised more than £7million through different charity challenges. Sinfield was made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2021, while Burrow became an MBE in the 2021 New Year Honours.
John Greig, who made more than 700 appearances in a glittering club career for Rangers, has become a CBE.
Greig won five league titles and six Scottish Cups with the Light Blues and also captained them to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972.
Leicester’s Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans has been made an MBE, along with referee Amy Fearn, who in 2010 when she became the first woman to officiate a men’s EFL match in the final 20 minutes of the Coventry v Nottingham Forest game.
Greenway was joined on the list by fellow cricketers Adil Rashid and Sam Curran, who are both made MBEs.
Rashid was part of the England team which won the 2019 World Cup and played alongside Curran in last year’s T20 World Cup triumph.
Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid, who secured their 17th wheelchair tennis doubles grand slam title together earlier this month at the French Open, have been made OBEs.
Hewett, 25, has also won seven grand slam singles titles while Reid, who became an MBE in the 2017 New Year Honours list, has two grand slam singles titles.
Hewett told the PA news agency: “I never would have dreamt that I’d receive something like this in my lifetime, I just get my head down and work hard in the sport that I love so I’m extremely proud and grateful for this, and everyone who has helped me get to where I am today.
“It’s amazing to see wheelchair tennis and disability sport get this level of recognition. it’s so vital in encouraging people with disabilities to be active and to just be creating a more inclusive society.
“It’s a big passion of mine to keep growing the sport, and with the platform I have to send the message that anything is possible with a leap of faith, relentless determination and the right mentality.”
Reid added: “It is a great honour to be receiving an OBE in the King’s Birthday Honours. I hope my platform as a professional athlete can help inspire other people with disabilities to lead an active and positive lifestyle.”
There is recognition too for England’s World Cup-winning wheelchair rugby league team.
Captain Tom Halliwell has been made an OBE, while team-mate Sebastien Bechara and coach Tom Coyd have become MBEs.
Non Stanford, who won the women’s world triathlon title in 2013 and finished fourth at the 2016 Rio Olympics, was also made an MBE.
Published: by Radio NewsHub