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Last Updated: Monday, 12 September 2005, 18:33 GMT 19:33 UK
Sports stars' tributes to England
Their fantastic performances have gripped the nation
FA chief executive Brian Barwick
Tributes have flooded in from other sports for England's Ashes victory.

  • Double Olympic gold medallist Kelly Holmes admitted: "I'm not an avid cricket fan, but I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the crowd were fantastic when I went to The Oval yesterday.

    "I love watching England win whatever the sport is, but for the cricket team not only to win back the Ashes after such a long time, but also on home territory, was magnificent.

    "Doing it here was really good for sport in general. Things do go around in circles, but it is great for cricket that the achievement has revived massive interest in the game."

  • England rugby union head coach Andy Robinson, who was part of the coaching staff for their 2003 World Cup triumph, welcomed their cricketing counterparts' victory.

    "I would like to congratulate Duncan Fletcher and the whole England cricket team on their outstanding Ashes victory," he said.

    "The series has captivated the nation, and I hope that everyone involved with the win enjoys the celebrations that will deservedly follow."

  • The Rugby Football Union's president LeRoy Angel added: "I am sure this win will provide a further boost to English sport.

    "Very many congratulations to the England cricket team and the ECB."

  • Meanwhile, Great Britain rugby league coach Brian Noble is hoping for a knock-on effect when his side face Australia later this year.

    "Look what it's done - everybody is talking about cricket," he said.

    "It's raised the profile of cricket and it's given the whole country a huge lift, whichever sport you play or watch."

    If England retain the Ashes in 18 months' time, they will rightly be called the best side in the world
    Former ECB chief executive Tim Lamb

  • English Formula One driver Jenson Button, who hails from Somerset, admitted: "I am very patriotic, so I'm really glad we have won it.

    "We have been great all series, so I am very pleased."

  • From golf, the European Tour's executive director George O'Grady has hailed "a summer series which illuminated the entire sporting world".

  • And former ECB chief executive Tim Lamb is now in a similar role with the Central Council of Physical Recreation, and he was also quick to praise his former charges.

    He admitted: "No-one is more thrilled than I that we have beaten Australia. We have suffered a few years of hurt, but we have been building towards this for a good number of years too.

    "Now we have the structures and building blocks in place to go on from this high point, and if England can retain the Ashes in 18 months' time, they will rightly be called the best side in the world."
    Jenson Button
    I am very patriotic, so I'm really glad we have won it
    F1 driver Jenson Button

  • Also, UK Sport chief executive John Steele added: "The Ashes series has shown sport at its very bests - the levels of skill on display matched only by the competitive instincts and positive spirits of both sides.

    "England's win is a fantastic boost to British sport."

  • Liverpool's Champions League-winning captain Steven Gerrard said: "The whole country has been behind the team and I am sure it's been an inspiration to Michael Vaughan and his players.

    "Everyone's fallen in love with cricket."

  • The Football Association's chief executive Brian Barwick said: "On behalf of the FA, I would like to congratulate the England team for their remarkable achievement in winning back the Ashes.

    "Their fantastic performances throughout the summer have gripped the nation, and rightly so.

    "In recognition of their achievement, we will be joining the celebrations by lighting up the arch at the new Wembley Stadium this evening."

  • The Professional Footballers Association's deputy chief executive Mick McGuire hopes the Ashes win can be the dawn of a new era for England.

    "Their success will galvanise the public in the same way England's football team did during Euro 96. It has lifted people's lives," he said.

    "The players must also be congratulated because it's one thing to win the Ashes, but another to do it in the last game when they were favourites and under enormous pressure. They've shown real resolve and spirit."

  • And football's League Managers Association's chief executive John Barnwell insisted: "The whole series has been spellbinding - one of the greatest sporting confrontations of my lifetime.

    "It is a historic achievement for England to have won back the Ashes. To say 'well done' is is nowhere near sufficient and while this doesn't match World Cup victory in football, it's right up there with England's rugby team who won the World Cup two years ago.

    "Cricket has never had more exposure than it's been given now and this is a marvellous opportunity to increase the popularity of the game. Youngsters will now be looking to get involved."

  • Also in football, Manchester United issued a statement describing England's victory as "their outstanding achievement".

    "It has been a great year for British sport, with an Ashes win and Britain's successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. These are historic moments which deserve to be recognised."

  • Even Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger, a cricket fanatic who is on tour in the US, chipped in: "It's a fantastic achievement. Congratulations to Michael Vaughan and the whole team.

    "It has been a great series played in the best spirit and I wish I could have been there to witness it in person. We will be raising our glasses in New York."


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