New Year Honours: Alastair Cook and Bill Beaumont knighted

From left to right: Doddie Weir, Paula Dunn, Alastair Cook, Bill Beaumont and Geva Mentor

(l-r) Doddie Weir, Paula Dunn, Alastair Cook, Bill Beaumont and Geva Mentor are among the sporting figures honoured

Former England cricket captain Alastair Cook and ex-England rugby union captain Bill Beaumont have been knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Commonwealth Games Federation president Louise Martin is made a dame.

Outgoing Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore and Geva Mentor, who helped England’s netball team win Commonwealth Games gold, become CBEs.

England boss Gareth Southgate and 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas are made OBEs.

England captain and Tottenham striker Harry Kane is appointed an MBE.

There are OBEs for jump jockey Richard Johnson and former Scotland rugby lock Doddie Weir, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and set up a charity last year to raise awareness of the condition.

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Former Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg, who survived the Munich Air Disaster in 1958, is also made an OBE at the age of 86.

There are MBEs for Olympic silver medal-winning rower Frances Houghton, triathlon world champion Helen Jenkins, former Arsenal and Football Association vice-chairman David Dein, ex-footballer Leroy Rosenior, who is now vice-president of Show Racism The Red Card, Rangers and Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley, hockey’s Karen Brown and UK Athletics Paralympic head coach Paula Dunn.

Cook the record man

Cook, who made his international debut in 2006, has received his honour for services to cricket and is the first England cricketer to be knighted since Ian Botham in 2007.

The 34-year-old left-handed opener retired from international cricket in the summer and ended his career with 12,472 Test runs and 33 Test centuries – both England records.

Four-time Ashes winner Cook also scored his final ton on his farewell appearance, which came against India at The Oval.

He led England for a record 59 Tests prior to resigning from the role after a four-and-a-half-year tenure in February 2017.

“The statistics across that time tell the story of his special ability – as do the winners’ medals and Ashes trophies – but he is also someone who’s been a great role model for our sport,” said England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves.

“We’re very fortunate to have had Alastair in English cricket and we’re very grateful for his contributions to the game.”

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Beaumont humbled by knighthood

Beaumont, who is recognised for services to rugby, led England to a Five Nations Grand Slam in 1980 and also captained the British and Irish Lions.

The 66-year-old is a former Rugby Football Union chairman and was elected chairman of World Rugby in 2016.

“I was very proud when I got the envelope three or four weeks ago saying I was being recommended for a knighthood,” said Beaumont, who had a lengthy spell as one of the captain’s on BBC TV quiz show A Question of Sport.

“It was very official, not the normal envelope I would receive.

“I just thought ‘wow’. To think that I would be mentioned alongside the great sports people who have been knighted was very humbling.”

I thought something was wrong – Kane

England boss Southgate got his side to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup as the team went the furthest it had done at the tournament since 1990.

Tottenham forward Kane, 25, finished the competition, held in Russia, as top scorer with six goals..

“I’m an incredibly proud Englishman so having had the opportunity to have represented my country as a player more than 50 times and then to manage the team at a World Cup has been an absolute privilege,” said Southgate.

Kane said: “We got a letter to the house. Kate [his fiancee] opened the letter. It was before the Southampton game.

“Normally we’d talk a little but she would never call me just before the match. I had a missed call and she texted me ‘could you answer?’

“I thought something was wrong! But Kate was excited and told me that we’d had a letter from the Queen saying we’d get an MBE.”

Others to be honoured for services to football include Northern Ireland’s Gregg and McAuley.

Gregg, 86, survived the Munich air disaster in 1958, when he heroically saved several passengers from the crash.

Capped 25 times by Northern Ireland, he was awarded an MBE in 1985 and has promoted grassroots football.

Rangers defender McAuley, who has 80 international caps, has received an MBE for services to football in Northern Ireland.

Icing on the cake – Geraint Thomas

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Watch: Cyclist Thomas wins Sports Personality of the Year 2018

Thomas has been awarded an OBE for services to cycling following a year in which he won the prestigious Criterium du Dauphine prior to victory in the Tour de France.

The 32-year-old Welshman was also voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

“This is an amazing honour,” Thomas said. “2018 will always be a year I remember for everything I achieved around both the Dauphine and especially the Tour.

“This is the icing on the cake and I am so grateful to everyone who played a part in helping me get recognised once again.”

Thomas’ honour comes 10 years after he was awarded an MBE following the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he won the first of his two Olympic track golds in the team pursuit.

Mentor, Jenkins, Houghton and Dunn honoured

The CBE for Mentor, who plays in Australia for Melbourne side Collingwood Magpies, is part of the diplomatic service and overseas list.

Welsh triathlete Jenkins has been honoured for her services to the sport.

The 34-year-old, who was born in Scotland, won the 2008 and 2011 world titles and has competed in three Olympics with a best finish of fifth place at London 2012.

British Rowing’s three-time Olympic silver medallist Houghton has also become an MBE, for services to rowing.

She competed in five consecutive Olympics in a 16-year career and, at Rio 2016, was part of the crew who delivered Britain’s first ever women’s eight Olympic medal.

Houghton retired in 2016.

UK Athletics Paralympics head coach Dunn has also been made an MBE.

The European and Commonwealth 100m medallist became the first female head coach at UK Athletics when she was appointed in 2012.

Weir, Rosenior and Dein recognised

Former Scotland international and British and Irish Lion Weir said it was a “great honour” to receive his award.

He will be made an OBE for services to rugby, MND research and the Borders community.

“Myself, Kathy, Hamish, Angus and Ben – and those involved with the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation – have received incredible support from the rugby community and the Borders folk since I shared my diagnosis with everyone in June 2017,” Weir said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their ongoing kindness and generosity.”

The work of Rosenior and Dein has also been recognised.

Rosenior becomes an MBE for services to tackling discrimination in sport, while Dein is honoured for services to football and to voluntary work in school and prisons.