New Year Honours: Finney wins place in all-star elite

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The Independent Online
Some say it should have happened 30 years ago, but Tom Finney has finally received a knighthood.

"You couldn't have a bigger honour," he said yesterday. "You are up there with people like Bobby Charlton, Stanley Matthews, Alf Ramsey and Matt Busby. They are few and far between in football."

The 75-year-old Finney spent his entire career at Preston North End and made 76 appearances for England. He remains Preston's life president.

Elsewhere in football, there are MBEs for Mark Hughes, the Wales, Chelsea and former Manchester United striker, and Jim Leighton, the Scottish international goalkeeper.

There are also MBEs for the yachtsman Peter Goss, who turned back during the Vendee Globe non-stop round-the-world race to rescue a fellow competitor; Carl Fogarty, twice world Superbike champion; and Terry Denison, former coach of the British swimming team. Demonstrating that it is never too late, there is also an MBE for Alf Gover, 89, the former Surrey and England fast bowler.

Among the sporting OBEs are Jack Rowell, the former England rugby coach; Martin Johnson, who led the victorious Lions in South Africa during the summer; Jenny Pitman, twice a Grand National-winning trainer; the 1984 Olympic javelin gold medallist Tessa Sanderson; Jennifer Cardwell, former manager of the Great Britain women's hockey team; and Vivien Saunders, first chairman of the Women's Professional Golf Association.