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

Wiggins leads Team GB’s charge in sporting honours

First came the dream-like highs of the Tour de France and the Olympics. Then, thanks to a run-in with a van last month while riding near his Lancashire home, a painful return to earth. Now, as if Bradley Wiggins had not had enough excitement in 2012, it is arise Sir Wiggo.

The London-born Mod and world-conquering cyclist described his knighthood as an "incredible honour" yesterday but hinted he may prefer to stick to "Mr Wiggins".

Sailor Ben Ainslie joins Sir Bradley in the New Year Honours list of Team GB knights, while Sarah Storey, the cyclist who is Britain's most decorated female Paralympian, follows Baroness Grey-Thompson in being appointed a Dame.

In a list of sporting honours extended to accommodate the heroics performed both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes during the London Olympics and Paralympics, gold medallists Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Victoria Pendleton and David Weir are all appointed CBE.

More than 100 honours will be handed out to athletes and organisers, including five knighthoods and damehoods and 62 MBEs in recognition of the "exceptional" nature of 2012. Traditionally, the sporting honours quota is restricted to just one knighthood or damehood and 38 MBEs.

Sir Bradley, who won the fourth Olympic gold medal of his career barely a week after becoming the first Briton to triumph in the Tour de France, said: "I never ever imagined that I would become a knight so it's an incredible honour. But there's a slight element of disbelief and it will take a while to sink in."

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year said he had accepted the knighthood as much for his 12 years of competing as for the glories of 2012. He added: "There was never any doubt whether I'd accept it or not, it was more a case that I never saw myself as a 'Sir', and I probably never will."

Knighthoods are also given to David Brailsford and David Tanner, the performance directors for cycling and rowing, respectively, who helped Team GB to dominate those sports at the London Games. There are OBEs for tennis player Andy Murray, who won his first major at the US Open and singles gold at the Olympics, and for Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds, as well as MBEs for boxer Nicola Adams and sprinter Jonnie Peacock.

Recognition also goes to the organisers and backroom staff who to helped to make the Olympics and Paralympics a national morale-booster. Lord Coe, chairman of the organising committee Locog, is a created Companion of Honour, the first sporting figure to be so recognised. Paul Deighton, the chief executive of Locog, receives a knighthood.

Honours are also awarded to dozens of volunteers and officials, including Jean Tomlin, who led the Games Makers volunteer programme, and Suzanne Jacob, the official in charge of the Home Office's efforts to thwart everything from terrorist threats to unauthorised traders.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said a record 123 sportspeople were honoured, compared with last year's 44.

Further reading:

New Year Honours: Cherie Blair recognised for services to women

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

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

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

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'