Lionesses lead the way in the New Year’s prize list

Four members of the England women’s soccer team, European champions in the summer, have been honored in the New Year Honors List.

Team captain Leah Williamson, who lifted the Women’s Euro trophy after a 2-1 win over Germany at Wembley in July, was made OBE while her teammates Lucy Bronze, Beth Mead and Ellen White became MBEs. The team’s Dutch coach Sarina Wiegman was also named CBE in the overseas list.

Denise Lewis, who won heptathlon gold at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, was named checkers while former Northern Ireland, Tottenham and Arsenal goalkeeper Pat Jennings was named CBE.

Denise Lewis, who won Olympic gold in the heptathlon for Great Britain at the 2000 Games in Sydney, was named Dame (PA)

Lewis told the PA news agency: ‘I’m still totally blown away. I can’t even process it. But I haven’t stopped smiling since I heard the news. It’s an incredible honour.”

Women’s soccer-related honors dominate the list.

Williamson led England to glory on home soil this summer, while her Arsenal team-mate Mead was the tournament’s top scorer and was voted man of the match. Earlier this month Mead was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Williamson told “It has been an honor to be part of an incredible group of athletes and women and share with them the successes of 2022. To stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us to inspire the millions who will follow.” .

White was a key figure in England’s attack for more than a decade until she retired from playing in August, while the Barcelona Bronze right-back is arguably the most high-profile player in the England squad, having been voted the best player in the world in 2020 .

Lucy Bronze.  who was named MBE, is one of the protagonists of the Lioness

Lucy Bronze. who was named MBE, is one of the key players of the Lioness (Martin Rickett/PA)

Bronze said it was a “surreal” feeling to get an email about the MBE and said the first person she told was her grandmother.

He told PA: “My grandmother probably doesn’t understand a lot of the awards I’ve won in football but she loved The Queen so I thought ‘this (MBE) is going to be her special thing’.

“This year has been beyond expectations for all of us. We all wanted to win the European Championship and make a difference and change women’s football in England. To have done this and more is incredible.”

Sir Hugh Robertson, the chairman of the honors sporting committee, was asked why more members of the Lionesses squad had not been recognised.

“The approach we’ve tried to take with this is that when we have these events there’s a danger of sort of carpet bombing the whole team because then you get people who’ve done five minutes on the pitch and they get an award,” he said.

“So what we’ve tried to do is stick to the principle of honors which is to recognize excellence and recognize outstanding contributions.”

In addition to the Lionesses quartet, the captains of Wales and Scotland, Sophie Ingle and Kim Little, were appointed OBE and MBE respectively.

Little’s Arsenal and Scotland teammate Jen Beattie, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, has also become an MBE for services to football and charity.

Former Northern Ireland captain Gail Redmond has also been made an MBE. Redmond is currently Head of Women’s Development at the Irish Football Association Foundation.

Elsewhere, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games organizing committee chief executive Ian Reid has been appointed CBE, as has Exeter Chiefs chairman and chief executive Tony Rowe.

Chris Kamara has been appointed MBE for services to football, anti-racism and charity

Chris Kamara appointed MBE for services to football, anti-racism and charity (Ian West/PA)

Former Saracens player Floyd Steadman, first black scrum-half and captain of a top-flight English rugby club, has become an OBE.

Brighton and Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber was also named OBE, with Scotland and Liverpool full-back Andy Robertson becoming an MBE.

Former footballer and manager Chris Kamara, best known in recent years as a Sky Sports pundit and presenter, has been appointed MBE for services to football, anti-racism and charity.

Lizzie Deignan, the 2015 UCI Road World Champion, becomes an MBE while Geoffrey Newton, recently Vice-President of the British Paralympic Association, is appointed OBE.

England international netball Jade Clarke has been named MBE

England international netball Jade Clarke has been named MBE (Isaac Parkin/PA)

England and Leeds Rhinos netball player Jade Clarke becomes an MBE, as does Robert Elstone, a British businessman who has held roles with Castleford, Everton and rugby league’s Super League.

Former world champion cruiserweight boxing Johnny Nelson has been made an MBE for his services to his sport and to young people in his home county of South Yorkshire.

Jawahir Roble, who grew up playing football in war-torn Somalia and now lives in London, has also been appointed MBE for services to football. She became the first black, female, Muslim and hijab-wearing referee in the UK.

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