Donald awarded MBE
Saturday, 16 June 2012 04:29
Donald awarded MBE

Luke Donald may still be searching for his first major win but the world number one golfer can at least celebrate being awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Englishman Donald, who missed the cut at this week's US Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, first topped the rankings in May last year.

The 34-year-old achieved an unprecedented double last season when he topped the money lists on the European and American tours last season. He has also been a member of three winning Ryder Cup sides and recorded back-to-back triumphs in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

"I am truly honoured to be awarded an MBE by Her Majesty - particularly in her Jubilee year," Donald said during the US Open at the Olympics Club in San Francisco.

"Both 2011 and 2012 have been very significant years for me, both personally and professionally, and I am touched that my accomplishments have been recognised in this way."

Rugby union player Shane Williams, Wales' all-time record try scorer, receives an MBE, as does Britain's leading showjumper Nick Skelton.

Elliott honoured

From the world of football, Paul Elliott is given a CBE for services to equality and diversity in football - the highest honour so far received by any player from the Premier League era - while former England goalkeeper David James receives an MBE.

Elliott, previously an MBE, said: "I am flabbergasted by this honour, and feel privileged and humbled.

"You do not set out in life to win these honours, I have just tried to make a bit of a difference and I would like to thank organisations such as Kick It Out for all the work they have done. It will be a very proud moment for me when I receive the honour."

Tessa Jowell, the former Olympics minister who was instrumental in London bidding for and winning the right to stage the 2012 Games, is made a Dame, as is Zaha Hadid, the architect of the Olympic aquatics centre.

A CBE goes to Peter Keen, who this year stepped down as performance director of UK Sport after spearheading the funding strategy that saw Britain finish fourth in the medals table at the Beijing Olympics.

Veteran athletics coach Malcolm Arnold, still working for UK Athletics at the age of 72, is honoured with an OBE for a coaching career that started as far back as the 1968 Olympics.

Arnold said: "It's so surprising, a real honour. It's pleasing but you never really think about these things or expect them from doing your job, you just plod on and do your thing.

"I think my wife and children have been more excited than me (about the honour). It's so important to have family support - I think a lot of coaches end up divorced because of the lifestyle, and I'm so lucky to have had tremendous support from my wife Madelyn and our children over the years."

UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner also receives an OBE - a reflection of his role in leading the successful bid for London to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

Other honours include an OBE for Albert Woods, the vice-chairman of the British Olympic Association since 1999, and president of the European Canoe Association and British Canoe Union.

Empire Medal

Meanwhile, Terry Downes, the oldest surviving winner of a boxing world title, is a recipient of the newly-restored British Empire Medal.

The 76-year-old defeated the United States' Paul Pender for the world middleweight crown on July 11, 1961. Born in London, his family emigrated to the US where he served with the Marines in the 1950s before returning to England and becoming a professional boxer, nicknamed 'the Paddington Express'.

There was also delight for another man who has made a name for himself in the ring, with Scotland's former British and Commonwealth super-featherweight champion Alex Arthur getting an MBE.

The same honour also goes to rugby union player Margaret Alphonsi, a star flanker known as 'Maggie the Machine' who plays for Saracens and England.

Veteran karate coach Hamish Adam receives an MBE for services to his sport - he has been a karate coach for 40 years and was a member of the British team that won the world championships in 1975, the first team ever to defeat Japan. He was also national coach for 15 years.

Archery's Alison Williamson, 40, who will represent Great Britain at a sixth consecutive Olympics at London 2012, receives an MBE. Only two other Brits - Tessa Sanderson and Bill Hoskyns - have managed such a feat in the summer Olympics.

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