Dec 29 2012 By Cheryl Mullin
BRADLEY Wiggins, the Mod from Kilburn who made sporting history by winning the Tour de France and an Olympic gold this year, is knighted in the 2013 New Year Honours.
Sir Bradley heads a sparkling list of sporting heroes, including sailor Ben Ainslie, who gets a knighthood, para-cyclist Sarah Storey, who is made a dame, and Jess Ennis, Victoria Pendleton, Mo Farah and David Weir, who all get CBEs.
Affectionately known as Wiggo, the first British winner of the the Tour told the Press Association: “I never ever imagined that I would ever become a knight so it’s an incredible honour.“But there’s a slight element of disbelief and it will take a while to sink in.
“It’s not something I’ll use on a daily basis, but it’s nice to have in the trophy cabinet as the ultimate accolade as a sportsman, being knighted by your country for not only the success this year but 12 years now of consistent work and performing - four Olympic Games, seven medals.”
The BBC Sports Personality of the Year added: “There was never any doubt whether I’d accept it or not, it was more a case that I never saw myself as a sir, and I probably never will.”
The galaxy of sporting stars who achieved so much during London 2012 meant that a special honours list was added this year.
But there was also recognition for the people who made the games such a success, from Lord Coe, who becomes a Companion of Honour (CH), to Jean Tomlin, who was in charge of the Games Maker programme and gets an OBE.
Away from sport, the Companion of Honour also goes to Professor Peter Higgs, the namesake of the Higgs boson, or so-called “God particle”, which was finally proved to exist in July, 48 years after he first proposed it.
The main list includes a knighthood for illustrator Quentin Blake and CBEs for artist Tracey Emin, choreographer and former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips and singer/songwriter Kate Bush.
Actor Ewan McGregor and fashion designer Stella McCartney get OBEs, while former England cricketer Mark Ramprakash gets an MBE.
Tony Blair’s wife Cherie Blair is given a CBE in recognition of her service to women’s issues and to charity in the UK and overseas.
A CBE also goes to UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox, as well as actor-turned-politician Michael Cashman MEP, best known for his role as Colin Russell in EastEnders – a participant in the first gay kiss in a British soap opera.