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 Tuesday, 31 December, 2002, 00:01 GMT
Torrance and Wilkinson honoured
Jonny Wilkinson and Sam Torrance have both been honoured
Wilkinson and Torrance have both been honoured
Sam Torrance and Jonny Wilkinson are among the big sporting names included in the New Year Honours list.

Europe's Ryder Cup captain Torrance has been made an OBE, while England's rugby union star Wilkinson has become an MBE.

Athletes Steve Backley and Ashia Hansen received the OBE and MBE respectively.

Both won titles at the Commonwealth Games and the European Championship during a glorious 2002 for British athletics.

Two BBC commentators were honoured, with rugby union's Bill McLaren becoming a CBE and cricket's Henry Blofeld the OBE.

Honours explained
The CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) is the most prestigious honour after a knighthood
The OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) is the next most important award
The MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) comes next

Torrance was the inspiration behind perhaps the finest sporting triumph of the past 12 months, when he skippered Europe to their stunning victory over the United States at the Belfry.

The 49-year-old Scot was universally acclaimed for his tactics and for inspiring a European team which was generally expected to lose.

Wilkinson, a BBC Sport Online columnist, made his international debut aged 18 and and is one of the greatest rugby union talents in the world.

At 23, he becomes the youngest union player to receive a New Year honour, taking the accolade from Welsh legend Gareth Edwards, who was 27.

"It's a great honour and it's a marvellous end to a very exciting year," he told BBC Sport Online.

"It's a great shock actually, but I'm delighted to have been honoured in this way."

There was only one knighthood with sporting connections, with Manchester City Council's chief executive Howard Bernstein honoured.

Bernstein was given a Knight's Honour for services to the reconstruction of Manchester and the 2002 Commonwealth Games which were held in the city.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 Sam Torrance OBE
"It's an award for golf as well"
 Steve Backley OBE
"This has made it a dream year"
 Ashia Hansen MBE
"This is the icing on the cake"
All the details from the 2002 New Year Honours list

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The other honours
Links to more New Year Honours stories are at the foot of the page.


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