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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 December, 2003, 15:40 GMT
Watson honour caps special year
Michael Watson

Boxer Michael Watson has become an MBE in the New Year Honours list.

The award comes at the end of a special year for the former Commonwealth middleweight champion, who completed the London Marathon course in April despite being told by doctors in the past that he would never walk again.

Watson collapsed in the final round of a WBO super-middleweight title fight against Chris Eubank in September 1991.

He spent 40 days in a coma, had brain surgery six times and still does not have the full use of the left side of his body - but the Londoner's rehabilitation saw him walk the 26.2-mile marathon course in six days.

Watson, for whom every step forward takes a huge effort, needed an hour to complete every mile and took on the course by covering two miles in the morning and two more in the afternoon.

He walked the final leg with Eubank, who described his former foe's achievement as "a miraculous feat of human endeavour".

Watson's extraordinary achievement has already won him the BBC's Helen Rollason Award for courage and achievement in the face of adversity, and seen him honoured by the Variety Club of Great Britain for his "outstanding courage".

After the Eubank fight, Watson claimed that the British Boxing Board of Control was liable for the brain damage he suffered and in December 2000 won 750,000 in the ensuing court case.

His actions also led to an overhaul of the outdated rules governing medical provision at licensed bouts in Britain, thus making the sport a safer place for those who follow him into the ring.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Michael Watson
"I'm taking every step at a time"



SEE ALSO
Poignant end to Watson's epic journey
19 Apr 03  |  London Marathon 2003



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