Roy Hodgson, Sue Barker and Kevin Sinfield are among the leading names from the world of sport to be recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Barker, best known as the lead presenter of the BBC’s Wimbledon tennis coverage, joins former England manager Hodgson in being awarded a CBE.
Sinfield, who was already an MBE, has now been awarded an OBE in recognition of his successful career on and off the pitch in rugby league but also in raising over £2million for research into motor neurone disease, a condition which has affected his friend and former Leeds Rhinos team-mate Rob Burrow.
Barker, 65, left Britain to train in the United States aged 17 and enjoyed a successful playing career, with victory in the 1976 French Open the highlight.
Injury cut her career short and she moved into broadcasting, initially in Australia, and has become the main face of the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage, having started to work for the corporation in 1993.
For 24 years she had been the presenter of the BBC’s Question of Sport quiz show, but announced she was leaving the programme earlier this year.
“It’s an absolute honour to be awarded a CBE. To have your work recognised in such a way brings such a sense of pride,” Barker said. “Myself and all my family are thrilled, especially my Mum who turns 100 next week.”
Hodgson, 73, is one of four names on the list with connections to the England men’s football team.
He managed his country in two European Championships, in 2012 and 2016, coming into the first of those at short notice after the resignation of Fabio Capello.
He also led England at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, when the team were eliminated after two games. He was also the coach of Switzerland at the 1994 finals in the United States.
He enjoyed a successful career in club management, most notably with Fulham and Crystal Palace in England but also with clubs in Europe. He had great success in Sweden in the early part of his coaching career, and later worked at Inter Milan. He led the Italian side to the 1997 UEFA Cup final, and took Fulham to the 2010 Europa League final against all the odds.
He retired from management at the end of the 2020-21 season, having last worked at Palace.
Current Three Lions internationals Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling both receive MBEs. Liverpool captain Henderson, a Champions League and Premier League winner in the last two years, receives his for his sporting exploits but also in recognition of his part in forming a charitable fund, Players Together, which supported NHS good causes during the first coronavirus pandemic lockdown last spring.
Sterling, who has won three Premier League titles with Manchester City, receives his honour for services to racial equality in sport, having spoken out candidly on the issue of racism within the game.
Former England midfielder Geoff Thomas has also been made an MBE for his work in raising funds for cancer treatment and research through the Geoff Thomas Foundation, having been diagnosed with leukaemia himself in 2003.
Another prodigious fundraiser is Sinfield, whose ‘7 in 7’ challenge – seven marathons in seven days – last December in honour of Burrow helped raise cash for research into MND, which has no known cure, and to support those like Burrow who are living with the condition.
Sinfield said in April he was planning a new challenge to raise even more funds later this year.
Women’s sport is well represented on the list, with Kelly Simmons, the Football Association’s director of the women’s professional game, getting an OBE.
England cricketer turned commentator Ebony Rainford-Brent becomes an MBE. She has advocated strongly against racism in her sport, and spoke powerfully and memorably about her own experiences along with former West Indies player Michael Holding as part of Sky Sports’ England coverage last summer.
England rugby union vice-captain Emily Scarratt has been made an MBE along with her national team head coach Simon Middleton.
Also in rugby union, there is an MBE for former Wales and British and Irish Lions forward Ryan Jones.
Former Olympians Jeanette Kwakye (athletics) and Melanie Marshall (swimming) are honoured with MBEs, while former NBA basketball star Luol Deng, who settled in London after escaping a civil war in his native South Sudan, receives an OBE.
Those working to make sport a more diverse place are also well represented.
Rimla Akhtar, the co-founder of the Muslim Women In Sport Network, receives an OBE for services to equality and diversity in sport.
Leon Mann, founder of the Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS) which aims to bring greater diversity to sports media, is made an MBE.