Arise Sir Ian McGeechan! Lions legend dedicates knighthood to his family

Sir Ian McGeechan praised his family after receiving a knighthood for services to rugby in the New Year Honours List.

He said: ‘This couldn't have been achieved without the backing of my wife, Judy, and my children, Heather and Rob. It is their constant support that has provided such an inspiration to me.

'I am very proud of my family and I want to dedicate this honour to them.’


McGeechan: pride of the 2009 Lions

The other major sporting honours went to Jenson Button, the Formula One champion, who is made an MBE, while Ross Brawn, who led the grand prix team for which Button raced, has been honoured with an OBE.

Former England full back and captain Jimmy Armfield is made a CBE for his community work in Lancashire while England cricketer Claire Taylor and world champion gymnast Beth Tweddle have been awarded MBEs.

VIDEO: McGeechan on his honour...

The same honour has been bestowed on Scottish golfer Catriona Matthew, who won the British Open in the summer just 11 weeks after giving birth to her second daughter. She described her award as ‘the icing on the cake’.

But McGeechan, 63, takes pride of place in the sporting honours. He has featured in seven British and Irish Lions tours – five as coach, masterminding Test series victories over Australia in 1989 and the Springboks in 1997 – and two as a player, including all four Tests for the 1974 Invincibles against South Africa. He also represented Scotland as a player and coach.

Claire Taylor

Marvellous year: Claire Taylor has been awarded an MBE

‘Rugby has been a huge part of my life for over 40 years and to have achieved everything I have with Scotland, in club rugby and with the Lions has been an
immensely rewarding and enjoyable experience,’ he added.

‘My passion for rugby and for sporting excellence remains undimmed.’

‘Geech’ led Scotland to a Grand Slam in 1990 but he is best known for his association with the Lions and most recently he coached the team which came up just short against South Africa, losing the Test series 2-1 last summer.

Though currently taking a rest from coaching, he has hinted at being involved in some way with the 2013 tour of Australia.

Button’s MBE completes an incredible year for the 29-year-old. He won six of the first seven grands prix of 2009 to establish a strong lead in the drivers’ championship before sealing the title in Brazil in October.

He said: ‘This is the crowning glory to what has been the most incredible year of my life. To be recognised by the Queen and the British people is a tremendous honour.’

Jenson Button

Brit of all right: Jenson Button

Armfield, already an OBE and now a CBE, is best known for his time as a player with England and Blackpool, and for his work as a radio pundit.

Blackburn striker Jason Roberts has been awarded the MBE as part of the Grenada list, the country he represents.

Tweddle won the gymnastics floor world title this year in London while Taylor was part of the England women’s cricket team which claimed World Cup and World Twenty20 glory.

In April, she became the first woman to be named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year.

Taylor said: ‘It’s something to cap off a really brilliant 2009.’

New Year honours

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