Home BME New Year Honours 2023: Lionesses recognised, Denise Lewis made a dame

New Year Honours 2023: Lionesses recognised, Denise Lewis made a dame

by Martyn Jones
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New Year Honours 2023: Lionesses recognised, Denise Lewis made a dame

Mead and Williamson played key roles for Sarina Wiegman’s side this summer

Members of England’s Euro 2022-winning Lionesses squad are among the sporting figures recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.

Captain Leah Williamson is appointed OBE while player of the tournament Beth Mead, Lucy Bronze and Ellen White become MBEs.

They won England’s first major football trophy since the men’s 1966 World Cup.

Former Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis, the Commonwealth Games England president, is made a dame.

She is one of a number of administrators recognised for their work on last summer’s successful Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with Games chair John Crabtree becoming a knight and chief executive Ian Reid appointed a CBE.

Recognition in the New Year’s Honours completes a successful year for England’s women.

Golden Boot winner Mead recently won BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2022 while the Lionesses were named Sports Personality Team of the Year 2022 after their 2-1 extra-time win over Germany secured the nation’s first major women’s football trophy.

England boss Sarina Wiegman, who also won Sports Personality Coach of the Year 2022, becomes a CBE on the overseas list.

“We are delighted that their services to football have been recognised in this way,” said Football Association chair Debbie Hewitt.

“They all played a pivotal role on and off the pitch in a historic year for women’s football and their recognition is wholeheartedly deserved.”

However, not all of the Euros squad have been recognised and Sir Hugh Robertson, chairman of the honours sports committee, said: “The approach that we’ve tried to take with this is when we have these events there is a danger in sort of carpet bombing the entire squad because then you get people who’ve done five minutes on the pitch and get an award.

“What we’ve tried to do is stick to the principle of the honours which is to recognise excellence and to recognise extraordinary contributions.”

England defender Bronze told BBC Sport: “To be recognised for everything I’ve done is pretty special.

“If it’s recognising what we did in the summer then it is a shame that it’s not all 23 girls who played their part in inspiring a generation and making history.

“I can only speak from a personal perspective, my career spans a lot longer than the last 12 months.”

Lewis told BBC Sport the damehood is “as meaningful as an Olympic gold medal”, adding that she hopes she can “continue to inspire the next generation of young athletes into sport”.

Pat Jennings, the former Tottenham, Arsenal and Watford goalkeeper who won a record 119 caps for Northern Ireland, also becomes a CBE along with Exeter Chiefs chairman and chief executive Tony Rowe.

Along with the honours for the Lionesses, Wales captain Sophie Ingle is appointed OBE while Scotland and Arsenal pair Jen Beattie and Kim Little become MBEs along with former Northern Ireland captain Gail Redmond.

Chelsea defender Ingle said: “I am truly honoured to receive this. It is a huge honour for not only myself, but my family and all those involved with the Welsh women’s side who have worked tirelessly to help the platform be where it is today.”

“It’s something I never even dreamed of or expected, it’s just an incredible feeling,” Beattie said.

Footballer turned pundit Chris Kamara becomes an MBE for services to football as well as for his anti-racism and charity work.

Speaking to the BBC he said he was “really proud”.

“I’ve always thought that if I was ever in a position to make a difference, then I would try my best”, he said.

He said he had been involved in raising more than £3m for various charities, including Show Racism the Red Card.

“I don’t think racism will be eradicated within my lifetime but I do know, from the young kid who started off in Middlesbrough where people would say these horrible words to you, it’s come a long way – but there’s work to be done.”

Liverpool and Scotland’s Andy Robertson becomes an MBE for the work his AR26 charity does to help young people in Scotland.

Floyd Steadman, the first black captain in the top tier of English rugby union who later became a headteacher with England’s Maro Itoje among his pupils, is appointed OBE.

“It’s difficult to process the OBE because it’s been such a journey and you think that things like this only happen to other people,” Steadman said.

“I look back at the challenges that I’ve been able to overcome and one of the biggest satisfactions has been proving people wrong when they’ve said I can’t do something,” he added.

“Being captain of Saracens, the first black captain of a major rugby team, was wonderful. So was being one of the first black headmasters of an independent school.

“There have been these barriers that I’ve been able to smash through. There’s been no secret or magic formula, I’ve just been very resilient.”

There are also MBEs for England netballer Jade Clarke and athletics coach Aston Moore and for cyclist Lizzie Deignan.

“It’s a bit surreal,” Deignan said.

“It makes you feel proud. To be recognised for services to cycling, it’s more than just a result. It will have a bit more longevity. When I’m 50 or 60 I’ll still have my MBE but my results will be long gone.”

New Year Honours list for sports

Damehood

Denise Lewis (President, Commonwealth Games England), for services to sport

Knighthood

John Crabtree (Chair, Organising Committee, 2022 Commonwealth Games) for services to sport and to the community in the West Midlands

Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

Dean Creamer (Director, Commonwealth Games and Blythe House Programme, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) for public service

Pat Jennings (former footballer), for services to football and to charity

Ian Reid (CEO, Organising Committee, 2022 Commonwealth Games), for services to sport

Tony Rowe (Chair and chief executive, Exeter Chiefs) for services to rugby union and to the community in Exeter

Sarina Wiegman (England manager), for services to football (Overseas list)

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Paul Barber (Brighton chief executive) for services to football

Sophie Ingle (Wales captain) for services to football

Ian Metcalfe (Lately Chair, Commonwealth Games England) for services to sport

Geoff Newton (Lately Vice-Chair, British Paralympic Association) for services to sport

Floyd Steadman (former rugby union player), for services to rugby union, education and charity

John Aleck Suchet, for services to rugby union, education and charity

Michael Williams, (World Rowing treasurer and British Rowing board member), for services to rowing

Leah Williamson (England captain), for services to football

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Sandra Bailie (Northern Ireland international), for services to bowls

Jen Beattie (Scotland international), for services to football and charity

Lucy Bronze (England international), for services to football

Jade Clarke (England international), for services to netball

Lizzie Deignan (Olympic and world medallist), for services to cycling

Robert Elstone (Businessman who held roles with Castleford, Everton and rugby league’s Super League), for services to sport

Dave Ferguson, for services to squash

Charlotte Gilley (founder and chair, Maverick Stars Trust), for services to boxing

Chris Kamara (former professional footballer), for services to football, anti-racism and charity

Kim Little (Scotland international), for services to football

Beth Mead (England international), for services to football

Aston Moore (national coach), for services to athletics

Johnny Nelson (former professional boxer), for services to boxing and young people in South Yorkshire

Gail Redmond (former Northern Ireland captain), for services to football in Northern Ireland

Andy Robertson (Liverpool and Scotland footballer), for services to football, charity and young people

Jo Tongue (Director, Women in Football), for services to football and gender equality

Ellen White (former England international), for services to football.

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