Queen's Birthday honours: Hurst joins the football knights

GEOFF HURST will join a select band of football legends when he receives his knighthood. Only a handful of players and managers from the game have been rewarded with one of the country's highest honours.

Hurst will become the third member of England's glorious 1966 World Cup- winning party to be knighted when he goes to Buckingham Palace. Manager Alf Ramsey became Sir Alf in January 1967, while Bobby Charlton was made a soccer knight in 1994.

Michael Bonallack, 63-year-old secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, the sport's ruling body outside America, thought he was the victim of a hoax when a letter arrived informing him of his knighthood. "It was a total shock," he said.

Bonallack was arguably Britain's finest amateur golfer. Winner of the amateur championship on five occasions between 1961 and 1970, he was also English champion five times and played in the Walker Cup match against America nine times.

There is an MBE for Alec Stewart, England's new cricket captain. An MBE also goes to John Barnes, the former England soccer star.

Debbie Bampton, former captain of England's women footballers, gets an MBE, and there is an OBE for champion hurdler Sally Gunnell.Kelly Holmes, Britain's 1,500 metres star, is awarded an MBE.

For Linford Christie, Britain's most bemedalled athlete, there is an OBE to go with his MBE, while World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis also gets an MBE.

An MBE also goes to Scottish golfer Colin Montgomerie. And Alison Nicholas, winner of the US Women's Open Golf Championship last year, receives an MBE.

David Holding, a champion sprinter in wheelchair athletics, becomes an MBE.