Cyprus Mail
Rugby Sport

Arise rugby’s Sir Gareth, Anderson and Lampard get OBE

By Ed Osmond and Ken Ferris

Former Wales scrumhalf Gareth Edwards was knighted and English cricket’s leading test wicket-taker James Anderson and former England soccer midfielder Frank Lampard were given the OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

Ex-Williams director Patrick Head and Gary Verity, who brought the Tour de France to Yorkshire, have also been knighted while boxer Carl Froch has been made an MBE along with distance runner Jo Pavey and England women’s footballer Casey Stoney.

Former England rugby union flyhalf and World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson becomes a CBE while ex-Wales flyhalf Jonathan Davies has been made an OBE for his work as president of Cardiff’s Velindre Cancer Centre.

Swansea City soccer club chairman Huw Jenkins has been made an OBE.

Edwards, 67, won 53 caps for Wales from 1967-1978, 13 as captain, and played 10 times for the British & Irish Lions on their victorious tours of New Zealand in 1971 and South Africa in 1974.

A Rugby World magazine poll in 2003 named him as the greatest player of all time.

“Gareth Edwards fully deserves the honour of a knighthood for the incredible contribution to rugby he has made both on and off the field,” Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) president Dennis Gethin said in a WRU statement.

“His reputation as a player is possibly unparalleled and since retiring from the game he has continued to be a powerful ambassador for rugby both in Wales and around the world.”

Anderson, 32, became England’s leading test wicket taker this year, surpassing Ian Botham’s record of 383 victims.

He claimed his 400th wicket in the recent series against New Zealand and is still England’s leading fast bowler ahead of this summer’s Ashes series against Australia.

“This means an enormous amount to me and my family,” Anderson said in an England and Wales Cricket Board statement.

“I’m very proud of my recent achievements and this just caps it off. These achievements wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of my family, friends and everyone at Burnley Cricket Club, Lancashire County Cricket Club and England.”

Former Chelsea and Manchester City midfielder Lampard, 36, was honoured for his services to football ahead of his move to Major League Soccer club New York City FC.

Lampard has won the Champions League, Europa League, three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups during a career that started at West Ham United.

“I am delighted to receive this huge honour,” said Lampard, who won 106 England caps. “I feel very fortunate to have had such a long and fulfilling career in football.

“This is an extremely proud moment for myself and my family.”

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