Former England cricket and rugby captains Alastair Cook and Bill Beaumont headlined sporting personalities in the New Years Honours List with both men receiving knighthoods from Queen Elizabeth II.
Cook -- who has more Test centuries (33) and runs (12,472) than any other England player accrued during a record 161 Test matches -- is the first cricketer to be knighted since legendary all-rounder Ian Botham in 2007. The 34-year-old opening batsman finished his Test career in the best possible manner with a century against India at The Oval despite having declared there was nothing left in the tank . It s a fitting tribute to a man who has led with distinction on and off the pitch every since he made his England debut, England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves said in a statement to Press Association Sport. Beaumont -- chairman of the sport s governing body, World Rugby, -- skippered England to the 1980 Five Nations Grand Slam as well as captaining the British and Irish Lions. Following his retirement as a player the 66-year-old became a much loved face on BBC television, his avuncular style adapting well to captaining a team in Question of Sport. Football did not miss out, with England manager Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane rewarded for the national side s run to this year s World Cup semi-finals. Southgate, whose sartorial elegance in Russia saw sales of waistcoats rocket, received the middle-ranking Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) whilst Tottenham Hotpsur sharpshooter Kane garnered the lesser Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). — AFP