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Monday, 31 December, 2001, 00:41 GMT
Your sporting honours
A host of British sporting stars are included in the New Year Honours list, including world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and England cricket captain Nasser Hussain.

But who would you have given a gong?


Lewis' CBE comes at the end of a turbulent year that has seen him lose and re-capture his world heavyweight title, while Hussain's OBE is recognition of some shrewd captaincy which has brought respectability to a mediocre England side.

  New Year Honours
Lennox Lewis (boxing)
Tony Lewis (cricket)
Nasser Hussain (cricket)
Graham Taylor (football)
Max Faulkner (golf)
Terry Spinks (boxing)
Gary McAllister (football)
Yvonne McGregor (cycling)
Dougie Lampkin (motorcycling)

Tony Lewis, former England cricket captain and president of the MCC, gets a CBE, while Olympic boxing champion Terry Spinks is the recipient of an MBE.

From the world of football, veteran Liverpool midfielder Gary McAllister collects an MBE, while former England football manager, Graham Taylor, receives an OBE.

The Honours system is always controversial, and some will be wondering why David Beckham and Michael Owen have missed out, and indeed why Judy Grinham and Gillian Sheen, Olympic champions from 1956, continue to be snubbed.

Who do you think deserves an award?


Can someone explain why Terry Spinks was not acknowledged on BBC sports news on 1/1/02? It is enough that he has been ignored for so long, so why has he been ignored yet again, despite this belated recognition?
Eileen Lowe, England

Surely the Neville brothers deserve some accolade for entertainment value
Martin, Ireland

These sports stars are very well paid for what they do. That's why they do it. Not for the good of the country or their fellow citizens. There isn't a single sports star that 'deserves' an award of this nature.

The rest of the population work their whole life in often boring jobs...why should sports personalities be honoured for doing something most of us would give our right arm to do?
Chris Cooper, UK

Surely the Neville brothers deserve some accolade for the entertainment value they give us while trying to defend. On a serious note, it's a shame Bobby Robson did not get one.
Martin, Ireland

I think the honours system is elitist, dated and irrelevant to the modern day and should be scrapped.
David James, Wales

Delighted for Graham Taylor - one of the most successful club managers of all time, and a nice man to go with it. I have noted comments about Bobby Robson and I too think he is a man also very deserving.

Both men have been a credit to their profession, have remained dignified and eloquent throughout their careers. Graham has received one this year, so hopefully it will be Bobby's turn next year.

An MBE or OBE should only be awarded to those who have truly contributed to their sport, it is too easy to get carried away with throw-away pats on the back to others who on many occasions have bought shame to their game. Well done Graham and I hope that we see more of his calibre in the coming years - though sadly I doubt it.
Darren, Canada

Nasser Hussain is a brilliant strategist and deserves his recognition with an OBE.
Vijay K Vijayaratnam, UK

I have been following English cricket from the days of Ted Dexter as captain around 1962 and I have come to admire Nasser Hussain, born in Madras, for his admirable leadership qualities rare in contemporary sportsmen. He always looks at positive aspects of any failures and is humble enough to credit his team-mates for all the successes. He is a brilliant strategist and deserves his recognition by Her Majesty with an OBE.
Vijay K Vijayaratnam, United Kingdom

The very awards are discriminatory, they are neither purely populist or for achievement. Ellen, the worthy boat person she is, is in a minority 'sport', do other unknown champions from minority sports get gongs? If she finished last, she would have won a gong anyway for being a 'plucky brit'. These awards are pointless. But these are great people and deserve praise nonetheless.
Peter C, UK

Bill Nicholson...has he done something to upset the monarchy? Why else has this great man not been given a knighthood! Graham Taylor? For what? Turnip Promotion?
Simon, UK

I think it is ludicrous to honour sports men and women before the end of their careers. Did any of the team that won the World Cup in 1966 receive awards the next day? In today's environment they would have probably have been given them on the pitch. Are these awards not for a career? If so, let these so-called stars finish their careers and then, and only then, reflect on their contributions to the game and society in general.
Kell, UK

Graham Taylor ahead of Bill Nicholson - you've got to be kidding!
Chris, US

Same old question...why hasn't Brian Clough been knighted? Obviously these awards are not based on talent, the rise from Second Division to European Champions in two seasons and the fortytwo-game unbeaten league run will never be repeated in football the world over. Why is the most charismatic and capable figure in English football ever not deserving of the top honour? Forget the Knighthood, make him Lord clough of Trent!
Ray_Pantenello, UK/USA

I refer to Nick Spokes' comments regarding Ellen MacArthur and how shameful it was not to honour her. Ellen's achievements have indeed been recognised by the honour of an MBE in the Queens Birthday list of 2001.
Colin Gibson, England

Graham Taylor ahead of Bill Nicholson.... you've got to be kidding!! Do they talk to anyone involved in the game before they make these decisions?
Chris, US

Nasser Hussain and Lennox Lewis are both deserving of their awards. The commitment they show to their respective sports is second to none. While Hussain's leadership skills have been exceptional, Lewis could have just retired quietly after his defeat but he was more determined and proved he's the best at his sport.
Keith, UK

Paula Radcliffe has won three world titles within a twelve month period - what's she got to do to get an award? I also happen to agree that it is shameful not to honour Ellen MacArthur's fantastic, courageous achievement.
Nick Spokes, UK

How can Nasser Hussain be given an OBE?
Alan Davis, England

So pleased that Graham Taylor has finally had some recognition for all his hard work in football and for all the entertainment he provided. His OBE is well deserved. His stint as England manager wasn't a success, but as a club manager, on limited budgets, his record is second to none. He is a very dignified and likeable man and we all miss him at Watford. Good luck in your retirement Graham and very well done!
Alan Bean, Scotland

So Graham Taylor gets an OBE but not Bobby Robson. I think if you compare their managerial careers you will agree it doesn't make sense. Taylor won promotion for Watford, did a decent job at Villa, but couldn't get England into the World Cup in 1994. Robson did wonders for Ipswich - FA Cup, Uefa Cup etc; Barcelona won the league, bought Champions League football to PSV Eindhoven and has been England's most successful coach since Alf Ramsey. I rest my case!
Manu, UK

When Alec Rose and Francis Chichester sailed round the world they got knighthoods. Ellen McArthur has not received any award despite achieving much more in a shorter time.
Graham Dodgson, UK

How can Nasser Hussain be given an OBE? Remember he is just an 'average' country cricketer. Together with others, he has helped to degrade the respect of the game, through controversy and sheer disrespect of others. He should not be considered a role model for a sport, which is in serious need of a major overhaul.

These decisions make the 'giving out of gongs' a farcical and meaningless waste of time.
Alan Davis, England

What? No Sir Bobby Robson!
Ian Hanks, UK

I think Lennox Lewis deserves the honour. If Frank Bruno can be honoured after winning the world title only to loose it after his first defence, then I think Lennox Lewis deserves to be knighted.

On the other hand I do not think Michael Owen and David Beckham have done enough to be honoured. We still have the likes of Robert Lee, Martin Keown, Lee Dixon, Michael Winterburn, Tony Cottee, and Niall Quinn, etc. These people have put a lot of years into English Football and not some new kids on the block.
Ola Ray, UK

What? No Sir Bobby Robson! Come on he's done more for this country than Alex Ferguson. He represented England at international level and did the best job since Sir Alf. What he did with Ipswich was outstanding, not to mention the titles and trophies he won across Europe. Oh, and he brought Gazza into the national side and discovered Ronaldo and Rivaldo. Then there's Newcastle!
Ian Hanks, UK

If anyone deserves an OBE I think it should go to Paolo di Canio of West Ham for showing great sportsmanship in a match with Everton.
Zaheer, U.K

I believe I am correct in saying that there is no mention of Murray Walker getting a knighthood. The man has just retired as a commentator for a sport and is held in high esteem by all within his sport globally and has been responsible for commentating every two weeks for over 20 years, attracting millions to the sport. The average politician is made a 'Sir' at the end of their career, as are other undistinguished people. Why not Murray?
Alistair, UK

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