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Friday, 31 December, 1999, 00:08 GMT
People's champions knighted

Henry Cooper and Stirling Moss Sporting knights: Henry Cooper and Stirling Moss


Two of Britain's most popular sporting heroes of the 20th Century have been knighted in the New Year honours list.

Boxer Henry Cooper and motor racing driver Stirling Moss shared the disappointment of never winning their sport's world title.

But the gutsy way in which the pair narrowly failed at the hands of two international sporting legends captured the imagination of the British sporting public.

Moss was beaten to the title by the legendary Juan Fangio three times, while Cooper's greatest moment was when Muhammed Ali stopped him winning the world heavyweight crown.


Cohen: One of 1966's less famous five
The list also contains belated recognition for the five members of England's 1966 World Cup-winning team never to have received previous honours.

Nobby Stiles, George Cohen, Ray Wilson, Alan Ball and Roger Hunt all get OBE's, joining their six team-mates - three of whom have been knighted.

Another team to capture the hearts of the public, figure skaters Jayne Torville and Christopher Dean, are handed OBE's.

They most famously won gold at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.

The most senior honour handed to a sportswomen is the CBE awarded to golfer Laura Davies, arguably the best woman to have played the game.


Laura Davies: Best woman golfer of 1990s
Davies has won 58 tournaments around the world., including two majors in the same 1996 season.

Tommy Horton, now a star of senior events, is another golfer to be honoured, with an MBE.

Current sportspeople to be recognised include snooker star Steve Davis and world champion hurdler Colin Jackson, who are both OBE's.

The world of athletics is well-represented with former Olympic decathlon champion Daley Thompson handed a CBE, while former distance runner and shot-putter Judith Oakes both get OBE's.


Steve Davis: Former world champion is now television personality
Horse racing trainer Martin Pipe receives the CBE for services to his sport, while the achievements of rugby union stars Gary Armstrong and Neil Jenkins are also recognised,

Scottish international Armstrong receives the OBE following his retirement from international rugby at the end of the World Cup.

Welshman Jenkins became the leading points-scorer in the international game during the tournament and is handed an MBE.

As well as the 1966 team members, three other former England football internationals are handed MBE's.


Viv Anderson: England's first black international footballer
Viv Anderson, now assistant manager of Middlesbrough, was the first black player to represent England.

Meanwhile Arsenal's leading all-time goalscorer Ian Wright is another black player to have enjoyed a high profile, and is currently with Celtic.

Wolves legend Steve Bull is recognised, perhaps because of his loyalty to the Midlands club when many other players would have taken a move to the sport's highest division, in which he never played.

BBC presenter and former French Open winner Sue Barker represents tennis on the list, receiving the MBE.


Sue Barker: Now a successful BBC presenter
Cricketer Tom Cartwright, a former Warwickshire and Somerset seam bowler who played five Tests for England, gets the same award.

Personalities from a number of lesser-profile activities are also recognised, the best-known of which is England hockey player Jayne Sixsmith, an MBE.

And from the world of disabled sport, there are MBEs for Peter Gunn, Alastair Kidd and Susan Pipes.

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See also:
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Links to other Sport stories are at the foot of the page.