Gareth Bale heads list of sporting stars on the Queen’s Honours List as Wales forward is awarded an MBE… with Rio Ferdinand, James Milner and England cricketer Moeen Ali also recognised for services to their sport and charity
- Gareth Bale became the first UK player to win five Champions League crowns
- He also won the Spanish league title on three occasions and scored more than 100 goals for Real Madrid
- Bale also made a charitable donation of almost £1million in April 2020 to the fight against coronavirus
- Liverpool midfielder James Milner, former Man United and England defender Rio Ferdinand and England cricketer Moeen Ali have all been recognised
Wales captain Gareth Bale leads the list of sporting stars on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list after being awarded an MBE for services to football and charity.
The 32-year-old – who confirmed on Wednesday his trophy-laden nine-year spell at Real Madrid has come to an end – became the first British player to win five Champions League crowns at the weekend after the club’s win against Liverpool.
He also won the Spanish league title on three occasions and scored more 106 goals for the club, including in the 2014 and 2018 Champions League finals.
The Wales international – his country’s record goalscorer – will also lead his side in their World Cup play-off final on Sunday following their 2-1 defeat by Poland on Wednesday evening.
Bale also made a charitable donation of almost £1million in April 2020 to the fight against coronavirus, with half going to NHS Wales and the rest to hospitals in the Spanish capital of Madrid. He has also supported other charities in Wales.
Liverpool midfielder James Milner, who has spent two decades in the Premier League, also receives an MBE. The 36-year-old was part of the Reds’ squad which won the FA Cup and Carabao Cup this season, but missed out on the Premier League and Champions League titles.
Wales captain Gareth Bale leads the list of sporting stars on the Queen ‘s Birthday Honours list
The 32-year-old – who has won five Champions Leagues – has been awarded an MBE for services to football and charity
Bale scored more than 100 goals for the club, including in the 2014 and 2018 Champions League finals
Former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was awarded an OBE, also for services to football and charity.
The 43-year-old won 81 England caps and six Premier League titles, and helped United to Champions League success in 2008. Mike Summerbee, a star of the Manchester City side of the 1960s and 70s, receives an OBE, as does former Watford and England striker Luther Blissett.
Blissett is a patron of the Sporting Memories Foundation – a charity that tackles dementia, loneliness and depression through the power of sport. Richard Bevan, the chief executive of the League Managers Association, has also been awarded an OBE, while former Scotland goalkeeper Alan Rough has been made an MBE.
In cricket, England all-rounder Moeen Ali has been awarded an OBE for services to the sport, after 16 years in the professional game including 225 appearances for his country.
Liverpool midfielder James Milner, who has spent two decades in the Premier League, also receives an MBE
Former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was awarded an OBE
A Birmingham-born athlete of Pakistani heritage, he has become a beacon for British Asian sport and an ambassador for inclusivity in a system that has been rocked by allegations of discrimination.
‘It’s an honour to be recognised, it’s amazing and my family are really proud and happy. More than anything, I know it makes my parents happy,’ he said.
‘It’s not about runs and wickets. I think it’s more about the journey I’ve been through and all that kind of stuff, I guess. It’s my background, my upbringing and all that. All those kinds of things I’ve been through throughout my life.
‘Even if I was to finish my career tomorrow, it’d be nice to be recognised in this sort of way, in this sort of capacity.
‘With the work and the stuff I’ve done I think it is something I’ll look back on at the end of my career and think it was special, it was a great journey and really well worth it in the end.
In cricket, England all-rounder Moeen Ali has been awarded an OBE for services to the sport
‘All the hard work you put in as a child and through your teenage years really paid off and it’s almost like the icing on the cake, to get recognised for it in such a way.’
‘From the from the word ‘go’, as soon as I played for England, people labelled me as being a potential role model or role model. It is a big responsibility,’ he said.
‘It’s a lot and it is difficult to be that role model because you don’t want to let people down. But as time has gone on, you kind of accept it and deal with it a lot better.
‘You have to accept it and realise you are probably a role model even though you don’t like saying it too much.
‘You do inspire a lot of people, especially from the inner city and the people that can relate to you. I don’t like that term role model, to a certain extent, but I know my role and what I need to do.’
Moeen’s moment almost slipped away when he missed the initial message alerting him to his nomination, but a check call to his club, Worcestershire, set the ball rolling after several weeks of silence.
Great Britain’s Olympic gold medal-winning women’s curling team have also been recognised
‘It gets sent through on email and it actually went straight to my junk. I didn’t see it for ages,’ he explained with a laugh.
‘I got a message from Worcester saying the person who emailed me was trying to get hold of me. They said, ‘You’ve got some important news’. So then I got through and it was a great surprise.’
Great Britain’s Olympic gold medal-winning women’s curling team have also been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
The team took top spot on the podium at the Beijing Games earlier this year and captain Eve Muirhead, who was made an MBE in 2020, has now secured an OBE.
Her team-mates Jennifer Dodds, Hailey Duff, Vicky Wright and alternate Mili Smith all received MBEs.
FULL LIST OF SPORTSPEOPLE ON QUEEN’S HONOURS LIST
ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE (OBE) Moeen Ali, for services to cricket (Birmingham). Richard Bevan, League Managers Association chief executive, for services to football (Hale, Cheshire). Luther Blissett, Sporting Memories patron, for services to football and charity (Aylesbury). Lora Fachie, MBE, for services to cycling (Altrincham). Neil Fachie, MBE, for services to cycling (Altrincham). Rio Ferdinand, for services to football and charity (London). Corrine Hall, MBE, for services to cycling (Stockport). Eve Muirhead, MBE, for services to curling (Stirling). Sean O’Loughlin, for services to rugby league (Wigan). Mike Summerbee, for services to football and charity (Wilmslow, Cheshire).
ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE (MBE) Gareth Bale, for services to football and charity (Cardiff). Jennifer Dodds, for services to curling (Edinburgh). Hailey Duff, for services to curling (Forfar). Thomas Dyson, British Rowing Paralympic pathway chief coach, for services to Paralympic rowing (Wokingham, Berkshire). Gary Hall, GB Taekwondo performance director, for services to Taekwondo (Altrincham). Shirley McCay, for services to hockey and the community in Northern Ireland (Omagh, County Tyrone). Hannah Miley, for services to swimming and Women in Sport (Blackburn). James Milner, for services to football and charity (Mobberley, Cheshire). David Murdoch, British Curling team head coach, for services to curling (Stirling). Alan Rough, for services to football and charity in Scotland (Glasgow). Georgina Seccombe (Harland), Team GB chef de mission for 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, for services to Olympic sport (Canterbury). Mark Selby, for services to snooker and charity (Lutterworth, Leicestershire). Neil Simpson, para alpine skier, for services to skiing (Banchory, Kincardineshire). Andrew Simpson, para alpine skier, for services to skiing (Banchory, Kincardineshire). Mili Smith, for services to curling (Perth). Judd Trump, for services to snooker and charity (Bristol). Georgina Usher, British Fencing chief executive, for services to fencing (London). Brynmor Williams, for services to sport and charity in Wales (Cowbridge, South Glamorgan). Vicky Wright, for services to curling (Stirling).
BRITISH EMPIRE MEDAL (BEM) Kristine Green, Grimsby Town director, for services to football in north-east Lincolnshire (Grimsby). Carol Thomas, for services to football and charity (Hull).
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