New Year Honours 2015: 103-year-old marathon runner joins sporting greats on list

 

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The Independent Online

Luminaries of professional sport including Steve Cram and Dame Mary Peters are joined by a centenarian marathon runner in receiving awards in the new year honours.

Fauja Singh, 103, holds the world record for the marathon in his age group - along with five British records - and completed his last competitive 26-mile race in Hong Kong only last year.

The British Sikh runner, who returned to serious running at the age of 89, receives the British Empire Medal in recognition of his athletic achievements.

Cram, the former 1,500m world record holder and Olympic silver medallist who commentates on athletics for the BBC, is made a CBE in recognition of his recent work as chairman of the English Institute of Sport.

 

He said: “It’s really fantastic to have this recognition.”

Dame Mary, who won gold in the pentathlon at the 1972 Olympics, is made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to sport in her native Northern Ireland.

Also honoured are Britain’s Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce, who was badly injured in a Belfast car bomb in 1972. He receives an OBE.

Brendan Batson, the former West Bromwich Albion defender who was one of Britain’s first black footballers, receives an OBE for services to equality in football.

He said: “When we look at the way things have evolved over the years as a whole I am very pleased with the development of black players.

“But there is a still a long way to go to address the lack of representation in coaching, management and governance.”

* Full 2015 Honours List at gov.uk

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