Lewis Hamilton celebrates his seventh world title
Lewis Hamilton celebrates his seventh world title

Arise, Sir Lewis Hamilton: F1 driver knighted in New Year honours list

Seven-time Formula One title winner Lewis Hamilton has finally been given a knighthood in the New Year honours list following pressure on the Prime Minister to approve the accolade.

Despite being one of the UK’s most successful sportsmen Hamilton – who matched Michael Schumacher’s record seven titles in 2020 and was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year for a second time – had previously been overlooked, reportedly due to his tax affairs.

Veteran footballers Jimmy Greaves and Ron Flowers are also made MBEs after a long-running campaign to ensure every surviving member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning squad gets an honour.

Hamilton’s knighthood – awarded in the overseas list – may raise some eyebrows, both because of his decision to relocate to Monaco in 2010 and also because he credited his success in 2020 to a new determination inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

In November, Motorsport UK and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Formula One wrote to the PM saying it would be “totally wrong” to deny Hamilton a knighthood because his “tax status has been misunderstood”.

The 35-year-old, who was brought up on a council estate in Stevenage, took the knee on the grid and wore anti-racism slogans during the season.

Speaking on Boxing Day, he said: “It was a different drive than what I’ve had in me in the past, to get to the end of those races first so that I could utilise that platform (for Black Lives Matter) and shine the light as bright as possible.”

Barry Hearn is delighted to have been acknowledged in the New Year's honours
EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Barry Hearn after OBE confirmed

Rob Burrow meanwhile hopes his MBE in the New Year Honours list will give comfort to fellow motor neurone disease sufferers and reassure them that their plight will not be ignored.

The 38-year-old former Leeds Rhinos player was diagnosed with the degenerative and life-limiting condition in 2019. The MBE is in recognition of his services to his sport but also respects how he has raised awareness of MND during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “It is truly humbling to be awarded an MBE and I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible.

“2020 has taught us all to appreciate the gifts we have and it is my honour and privilege to accept this award on behalf of all the MND community.

“I hope it gives people hope that we are not ignored and the drive for more research and support to end MND will not stop.

“I would like to thank my team-mates, coaches and opponents throughout my playing career. They shaped me into the man I am.

“The way the rugby league community has come together over the last 12 months to support me and my family speaks volumes about how special our sport is.

“Finally, I would like to thank my family. I know they have always been proud of me. This MBE is for them and I am looking forward to making another special memory when I am able to receive the award.”

New Year Honours List for sport


  • Lewis HAMILTON MBE, for services to motorsport.

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

  • Maggie CARVER, chair of the Racecourse Association and deputy chair of Ofcom, for services to sport and media (Winchester, Hampshire).
  • Bob CHAMPION MBE, founder of the Bob Champion Cancer Trust, for charitable services to prostate and testicular cancer research (Newmarket, Suffolk).
  • Peter DAWSON OBE, chief executive and secretary of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, for services to golf (St Andrews, Fife).

Order of the British Empire (OBE)

  • Brian BARWICK, chairman of football’s National League, for services to sport and sport broadcasting (London, Greater London).
  • Rob BAXTER, Exeter director of rugby, for services to rugby union (Exeter, Devon).
  • Dee BRADBURY, Scottish Rugby Union president, for services to rugby union (Oban, Argyll and Bute).
  • Donna FRASER, Equality, Diversity & Engagement Lead, UK Athletics, for services to equality, to inclusion and to diversity in the workplace (Birmingham, West Midlands).
  • Barry HEARN, chairman of the World Snooker Tour and Professional Darts Corporation, for services to sport (Chelmsford, Essex).
  • Matt HAMPSON, founder of the Matt Hampson Foundation, for voluntary and charitable service (Cold Overton, Leicestershire).
  • Bill O’HARA, for services to sailing (Bangor, County Down).
  • Nick RUST, outgoing chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, for services to horseracing (York, North Yorkshire).

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

  • Kevin AITCHISON, chair of GB Wheelchair Rugby, for services to wheelchair rugby and to people with disabilities (Eynsford, Kent).
  • Colleen BLAIR, regional swimming development manager, Scottish Swimming, for services to Swimming (Aberfeldy, Angus).
  • Rob BURROW, for services to rugby and to Motor Neurone Disease awareness during Covid-19 (Pontefract, West Yorkshire).
  • Gillian COULTARD, for services to football (Castleford, West Yorkshire).
  • Alan CURTIS, for services to Welsh football (Swansea, West Glamorgan).
  • Susan DEAVES, for services to athletics (Woking, Surrey).
  • Robert DICK, head coach of Scottish Disability Bowls, for services to disability sport (Cupar, Fife).
  • Katie DODD, for services to hockey (Langport, Somerset).
  • Emma EVANS, for services to goalball and athletes with visual impairments (March, Cambridgeshire).
  • Ron FLOWERS, for services to football (Stafford, Staffordshire).
  • Jimmy GREAVES, for services to football (Little Baddow, Essex).
  • Damian HOPLEY, chief executive of the Rugby Players Association, for services to rugby union (London, Greater London).
  • Anne KEOTHAVONG BRETHERTON, captain of Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup team, for services to tennis (London, Greater London).
  • David MAHONEY, chief operating officer of the England and Wales Cricket Board, for services to sport (London, Greater London).
  • Martin MANN, chair of the Special Olympics, for services to people with intellectual disabilities (Ipswich, Suffolk).
  • David McGOWAN, for services to sport and reconciliation in Northern Ireland (Magherafelt, County Londonderry).
  • John McGUINNESS, for services to motorcycle racing (Lancaster, Lancashire).
  • Mick O’NEILL, chair of Keighley Cougars, for services to rugby league, the community in Keighley, West Yorkshire and to charity during the Covid-19 pandemic (London, Greater London).
  • Nigel PAYNE, former chair of the Professional Jockeys Association, for services to British horseracing and to charity, particularly during the Covid-19 response (Launceston, Cornwall).
  • Andrew SHELLEY, former chief executive at the World Squash Federation, for services to squash (London, Greater London).
  • Joe SIMMONDS, Exeter Chiefs captain, for services to rugby union (Exeter, Devon).
  • Paul THOROGOOD, former chief executive at the Football Foundation, for services to football (London, Greater London).
  • Shahab UDDIN, director of legal at the British Olympic Association, for services to sport during the Covid-19 response (London, Greater London).
  • Brendan WARBURTON, head coach at Sheffield City Amateur Boxing Club, for services to boxing and to the community in Sharrow, Sheffield (Sheffield, South Yorkshire).
  • Bob WRIGHT, for services to amateur boxing and to the young people in Parson Cross, Sheffield (Sheffield, South Yorkshire).
  • Roland WYCHERLEY, chair of Shrewsbury Town Football Club, for services to the community in Shrewsbury (Shrewsbury, Shropshire).

British Empire Medal (BEM)

  • David ADAMSON, honorary chieftain of the Burntisland Highland Games, for services to athletics and to the community in Burntisland, Fife (Burntisland, Fife).
  • Salma BI, for services to cricket and to diversity in sport (Birmingham, West Midlands).
  • Debra COURTENAY-CRANE, head coach at Carterton Gymnastics Club, for services to gymnastics and to young people in Carterton, Oxfordshire (North Leigh, Oxfordshire).
  • Sophie DUNNETT, services to amateur athletics in Scotland (Reay, Caithness).
  • Sharon GILL, for services to kickboxing and to young people in Bristol (Bristol).
  • Evelyn GRAHAM, for services to badminton and to the community in County Antrim (Dunadry, County Antrim).
  • Simon Daniel JACKSON-TURNER, for services to sport (Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire).
  • Dave KNIGHT, for voluntary service to Newport Community Cricket Club, South Wales (Newport, Gwent).
  • Mike KNIGHT, for voluntary service to Newport Community Cricket Club, South Wales (Newport, Gwent).
  • John MAPLETOFT, for services to table tennis (Grantham, Lincolnshire).
  • Jennifer McARTNEY, for services to squash (Monifieth, Angus).
  • Rhys McCLENAGHAN, for services to gymnastics (Newtownards, County Down).
  • Dennis MURPHY, for services to veterans’ football in Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glamorgan (Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glamorgan).
  • Christina PEACOCK, for services to boxing (Plymouth, Devon).
  • Richard SAUNDERS, for services to disability golf (Manningtree, Essex).
  • Albert SCRUBY, instructor at Lea Rowing Club, for services to rowing in Clapton, London (Watford, Hertfordshire).
  • Patricia SHARPE, for services to gymnastics (Shrewsbury, Shropshire).
  • Gregory SILVESTER, trustee at Special Olympics GB, for services to people with learning disabilities in sport (Wolverhampton, West Midlands).
  • Gladys TURNBULL, coach at Whitmore Netball Club, for services to sport and the community in Wolverhampton (Wolverhampton, West Midlands).
  • Peter WARDEN, for services to athletics in north-west England (Preston, Lancashire).
  • Curtis WOODHOUSE, for services to football and boxing (Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire).
  • Graham WRIGHT, for services to athletics and to the community in Rossendale, Lancashire (Rossendale, Lancashire).
Like what you've read?


Sporting Life
Join for free!
Access to exclusive features all for FREE - No monthly subscription fee
Race Replays
My stable horse tracker
giftOffers and prize draws
newsExclusive content

Next Off

Fixtures & Results

Fetching latest games....