Sports stars who rejected British honours from the Queen in New Year’s list

Several sport stars are set to be recognised when the Queen's New Year's Honours list is announced tonight.

Sports men and women have long been honoured for the roles they play in inspiring others or for their work helping charities or communities.

But many have also refused to accept such accolades – for a variety of reasons.

Some have objected to being offered an award with connotations linked to Britain's Imperial past, while others simply felt they weren't worthy.

Here, Daily Star Sport takes a look at eight sport stars who snubbed the chance to be honoured by The Queen.

Howard Gayle

Howard Gayle was the first black player to represent Liverpool, helping the Reds win the European Cup in 1981.

The winger went on to play for for Birmingham City, Sunderland and Stoke before starring for Blackburn, scoring 29 goals in 116 league games for the Ewood Park side in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In 2016 it was reported that Gayle had turned down an MBE for his work with 'Show Racism the Red Card' saying it would be "a betrayal to all of the Africans who have lost their lives, or who have suffered as a result of Empire."

Bill Woodfull

  • John Edrich dead: England and Surrey cricketer dies at age of 83 after leukaemia battle

Cricketer Bill Woodfull captained Australia and was best known for taking a stand against England's controversial 'bodyline' tactics during the 1932-33 Ashes series.

England's gameplan involved bowling at high speed at the heads and torsoes of Australian batsman, but Woodfull refused to retaliate in kind, saying it brought "discredit to the game".

Australia lost the series, but Woodfull won praise for sticking to his guns.

Away from cricket he worked as a teacher and headmaster. When offered a knighthood for his services to cricket in 1934 he refused, saying he would have accepted if it had been offered for his work in education.

Woodfull was eventually awarded the OBE for his services to education in 1963.

Richie McCaw

  • Legendary rugby union referee Nigel Owens announces retirement with heartfelt post

All Blacks legend Richie McCaw turned down the chance to be knighted while still in the midst of his record-breaking career.

McCaw won two World Cups with New Zealand, captained his country in 110 of his 148 tests, and was the most capped test rugby player of all time until his record was beaten by Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones this year.

In 2011, New Zealand's then Prime Minister John Key said he had spoken to McCaw about the possibility of a knighthood, but said the rugby star wasn't interested, believing it wasn't right while he was still playing.

He was never formally offered the knighthood, but was appointed a member of the Order of New Zealand in the 2016 New Year honours.

Patrick Collins

Revered sports journalist and author Patrick Collins covered World Cups, Olympic Games, Lions rugby tests, Ashes tests and major boxing fights during a career that spanned five decades.

He won scores of awards for his work – but one accolade he didn't want to accept was the MBE.

In 2003, Collins was on a list revealed by The Sunday Times of dozens of high-profile figures from the worlds of sport, film, music and the arts who had turned down an honour from the Queen.

Peter Alliss

'The Voice of Golf' Peter Alliss sadly died earlier this month at the age of 89.

He was renowned as one of the greatest sports broadcasters of his generation, with his distinctive commentary synonymous with the game.

Alliss was also a talented golfer himself, having won 20 professional tournaments including three British PGA Championships in 1957, 1962 and 1965 – as well as recording five top-10 finishes in The Open.

He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2012 – but turned down an OBE back in 1992.

Major Derek Allhusen

Major Derek Allhusen was an equestrian who won team gold and individual silver in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

A grandfather at the time of his Olympic triumph, he was offered an MBE for his achievements.

But he refused the award, feeling that his team-mates Richard Meade, Jane Bullen and Reuben Jones were just as deserving.

He was later appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1983.

Leonard Barden

The debate over whether chess is a sport is for another time – although it is recognised as one by the International Olympic Committee.

Leonard Barden represented England in four Chess Olympiads. He is regarded as having played a leading role in the 'English chess explosion' (yes, that's a thing) of the 1970s and 1980s which saw the country end up as Olympiad silver medallists.

He turned down an OBE in 1985.

Maharajkumar of Vizianagram

Maharajkumar of Vizianagram, known as 'Vizzy', captained India during the team's tour of England in 1936.

He was not renowned for his cricketing ability, but rose to the captaincy thanks to his power and influence.

After India were easily beaten in the series, 'Vizzy' was knighted by King Edward VIII in the King's Birthday Honours.

However, he renounced his knighthood in 1947 when India gained its independence from the British Empire.

Source: Read Full Article