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New Year Honours: 'Death Valley Jack' shocked by his honour


A 77-year-old grandfather who has completed one of the world's toughest races a dozen times – the last time at the age of 75 – said yesterday he was an "ordinary fella" in shock at being appointed MBE.

The former school caretaker Jack Denness has raised more than £100,000 by running in more than 100 marathons and scores of other endurance races, including the 135-mile Badwater Ultra Marathon through the Nevada Desert.

Known in his home town of Rochester, Kent, as "Death Valley Jack", he said: "I was shocked they would give this to me. I'm just an ordinary fella."

Further reading:

New Year Honours: Plain old Mister will do, says Bradley Wiggins - Britain's two-wheeled knight

New Year Honours: Cherie Blair recognised for services to women

New Year Honours: Quentin Blake knighted, Kate Bush appointed CBE

New Year Honours: Praise for the 'normal people' who get Britain ticking