England sporting captains past and present, Alan Shearer and Alastair Cook head the sports stars to receive honours in Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday honours list.
Shearer, former skipper of the national football side, and present cricket captain Cook are both made Commanders of the British Empire (CBE).
Several notable female sporting personalities also feature including Martine Wiltshire, the sitting volleyball player and Paralympian who lost her legs in the 7/7 London bombings, for her services to sport.
Shearer, who is now a respected pundit with the BBC, gets his recognition for his charitable services to the community in North East England.
Cook is made a CBE for his services to cricket. Last month he became, at 31 years and 157 days, the youngest player and first English batsman to reach the landmark of 10,000 Test runs.
Both Shearer and Cook have already been honoured with the former receiving an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2001 and the latter a Member of the British Empire (MBE) following his sterling performances in the Ashes victory over Australia in 2010/11.
“Receiving this kind of honour means a great deal to me and it’s also a hugely proud moment for me and my family,” said Cook, who is presently leading England in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s.
Cook’s team-mate, former world number one ranked bowler Stuart Broad is also honoured with an MBE.
“I’m obviously delighted and very proud,” said Broad. “It is a lovely moment for my family too.”
“My parents will be delighted after guiding me into cricket and instilling me with a love of the game from an early age,” added the 29-year-old whose father Chris is a former England opening batsman.
The Queen made Saturday a double cause for celebration for Welsh rugby union refereeing great Nigel Owens as he receives an MBE.
On Saturday he will become the record holder for refereeing Test matches as he takes charge of his 71st, the highly charged Pacific Islands clash of Fiji v Tonga in the hot climes of Suva.
Owens, 44, who refereed the Rugby World Cup final last year, paid tribute to the many people from the rugby world who had stood by him when he came out as a homosexual in 2007 — a far cry from when as a younger man he contemplated suicide because he couldn’t bring himself to tell his parents.
“Rugby has enabled me to be who I am today and I hope that talking about my off-field experiences such as coming out and depression helps other people come to terms with their own personal battles,” said Owens.
Britain’s success in the Davis Cup last year was recognised with Andy Murray’s older brother doubles specialist Jamie receiving an OBE as does the non-playing captain Leon Smith.
Wiltshire, 42, lost 80% of her blood and was in a coma for 10 days after being caught up in the bomb at Aldgate tube station in 2005. Seven years later, she featured at the Paralympics in London.
Other women to feature in the awards include Claire Williams, the deputy team principal of Formula 1 team Williams, who gets an OBE.
Hayley Turner may have retired from the saddle but her feats as a female jockey have been noted by the Queen — a noted enthusiast of the Turf — as she gets a MBE.
Turner more than mixed it with the likes of Frankie Dettori becoming the first woman to reach the landmark of 100 winners in a calendar year in 2008.
“Obviously the Group Ones were great, but one of my most memorable rides was the first one back from a head injury,” the 33-year-old told Press Association Sport.
“I’d been signed off for a year (2009), but the neurosurgeon who treated me helped me appeal and I was back after four months.
“I rode at Ascot and finished second and the crowd cheered me back in, that was very emotional.”