A knight of the turf

Nuneaton Telegraph - - SPORT -

TONY McCoy has been given a knight­hood in the New Year Hon­ours in recog­ni­tion of his in­cred­i­ble rac­ing ca­reer.

The 41-year-old from Money­glass in County Antrim re­tired from rac­ing in April af­ter be­ing crowned cham­pion jockey for a 20th con­sec­u­tive year.

He heads a list of high-pro­file sport­ing names to be hon­oured which also in­cludes for­mer Manch­ester United for­ward De­nis Law, five-time world snooker cham­pion Ron­nie O’Sul­li­van, two-time Tour de France win­ner Chris Froome and John Sur­tees, the only man to win world cham­pi­onships on two and four wheels.

The suc­cess of Eng­land’s women’s foot­ballers in fin­ish­ing third at the World Cup in Canada in the sum­mer has been recog­nised with MBEs for cap­tain Steph Houghton and team­mate Fara Wil­liams.

Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion di­rec­tor Heather Rab­batts - who be­came the FA’s first fe­male board mem­ber in 2012 - has been made a Dame for ser­vices to foot­ball and equal­ity. Sports broad­cast­ers Sue Barker and Jac­qui Oat­ley have been awarded an OBE and an MBE re­spec­tively.

McCoy’s knight­hood comes at the end of a glit­ter­ing rac­ing ca­reer which saw him win ev­ery ma­jor prize in his sport, in­clud­ing a Grand Na­tional win at the 15th at­tempt on Don’t Push It in 2010. McCoy, who an­nounced in Fe­bru­ary his in­ten­tion to re­tire at the end of the Na­tional Hunt sea­son, rode a to­tal of 4,358 win­ners.

Law, who was a star of the Manch­ester United side of the 1960s and Scot­land’s joint all-time na­tional team top goalscorer, has been awarded a CBE, while a favourite son of the blue half of Manch­ester - Fran­cis Lee - is also now a CBE. Lee won the league ti­tle with City in 1968 and later served as chair­man of the club in the 1990s. He also played for Eng­land in the 1970 World Cup.

O’Sul­li­van, known as ‘the Rocket’ for his fast-paced ap­proach to play­ing his sport, has been awarded an OBE. The 40-year-old has won snooker’s premier event on five oc­ca­sions, most re­cently in 2013, and has also won the UK Cham­pi­onship and Mas­ters ti­tles five times each.

He has recorded 12 max­i­mum 147 breaks dur­ing his ca­reer, the quick­est be­ing com­pleted in five min­utes and 20 sec­onds in 1997.

Froome has been made an OBE af­ter he be­came the first Bri­ton to win cy­cling’s premier road race the Tour de France on two oc­ca­sions with his vic­tory in July. Bri­tish Cy­cling pres­i­dent Bob How­den has also been awarded an OBE.

Sur­tees has been awarded a CBE for ser­vices to mo­tor sport. The 81-year-old won seven world motorcycling cham­pi­onships be­fore switch­ing to four wheels and win­ning the 1964 For­mula One ti­tle.

Houghton, a cen­tre-back for Manch­ester City, skip­pered the Lionesses at the World Cup in the sum­mer hav­ing come to promi­nence as part of the Great Bri­tain team at the 2012 Lon­don Olympics. Her Eng­land team-mate Wil­liams, who scored in the World Cup semi-fi­nal de­feat to Ja­pan and got the only goal in the bronze medal match against Ger­many, joins Houghton in win­ning an MBE.

Rab­batts, who has cam­paigned on be­half of women in sport and re­cently spoke out in sup­port of for­mer Chelsea doc­tor Eva Carneiro in her dis­pute with the club, is awarded a dame­hood. Barker won the French Open ten­nis ti­tle in 1976 be­fore mov­ing into broad­cast­ing with the BBC and now leads the cor­po­ra­tion’s ten­nis cov­er­age.

Oat­ley is a broad­caster who came to promi­nence with the BBC, where she be­came the first fe­male com­men­ta­tor to ap­pear on the cor­po­ra­tion’s flag­ship foot­ball high­lights pro­gramme Match of the Day in 2007. She also works for ITV, and as a di­rec­tor of the Women In Foot­ball group.

Tracey Neville, the coach of Eng­land’s women’s net­ball team, was awarded an MBE. She is the sis­ter of for­mer Eng­land foot­ball in­ter­na­tion­als Gary and Phil Neville.

For­mer Eng­land and Sale wing Mark Cueto and IBF su­per-ban­tamweight cham­pion Carl Framp­ton were also awarded MBEs.

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