By Adedapo Adesanya
Formula 1 world champion, Lewis Hamilton, has been knighted in the Queen of England’s New Year Honours list.
The 35-year old race car legend will now bear the title Sir Lewis Hamilton, becoming the fourth F1 driver to be knighted after two fellow Britons, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart, and Australia’s Sir Jack Brabham.
The Briton sealed a seventh drivers’ title at the Turkish Grand Prix in November, equalling the championships record held by Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton won his first world title with McLaren in 2008, with further successes in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
There had been doubts whether he would be knighted given he lives in the tax haven of Monaco but it was reported that the Prime Minister, Mr Boris Johnson, had personally intervened to ensure the F1 titleholder would be rewarded for his sporting achievements.
Others who were honoured by the British monarch included Rugby league legend Rob Burrow with an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for services to rugby and his awareness campaign since being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
British Billie Jean King Cup captain Anne Keothavong also becomes an MBE.
The former British number one, 37, represented Great Britain in the event – previously known as the Fed Cup – before becoming captain in 2016.
Others made an MBE include former Tottenham and Chelsea striker Jimmy Greaves and ex-Wolves midfielder Ron Flowers, both World Cup winners with England in 1966.
Following rugby union side Exeter Chiefs’ domestic and European titles last season, director of rugby Rob Baxter was also made an OBE (Order of the British Empire) while captain Joe Simmonds becomes an MBE.
Former England captain Gillian Coultard was appointed an MBE for services to football, along with former Swansea City and Wales forward Alan Curtis.
Chairman of the Racecourse Association Maggie Carver was made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire), as has former jockey Bob Champion and chief executive and secretary of the R&A Peter Dawson.
Promoter Barry Hearn becomes an OBE for services to sport, having been involved in boxing, snooker and darts among other sports.
Former Rugby Football League chairman, ex-Football Association chief executive and former BBC head of sport Brian Barwick, now chairman of football’s National League, receives an OBE.
Meanwhile, Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby chair Kevin Aitchison is made an MBE, and footballer-turned-boxer Curtis Woodhouse is among those to receive the British Empire Medal.
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