Happy New Year from all at SVG Europe

Stuart HallEven if the Mayans are right and the world will end in 2012, they predicted that it will not occur until the December solstice, giving us plenty of time to enjoy Euro 2012, the Olympics and all the other major sporting events that will occur across Europe in the next 366 days. And a sense of how sport will dominate the cultural landscape of the year was provided by the number of sportspeople on Britain’s New Year Honours List.

The list is contentious nowadays, and seen as increasingly archaic by many, but it provides an interesting bellwether of public opinion and sport seems to occupy a progressively more favourable place amongst the great and the good. Northern Irish golf champions, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy, headed the list, not far ahead of veteran broadcaster Stuart Hall, 82, who reportedly claims to have coined the phrase ‘The Beautiful Game’ and whose classical allusions still liven up many a BBC radio football match report.

BBC News takes up the rest of the story:

“Other sporting honours include a CBE for the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board Giles Clarke and an OBE for services to cricket and charity for retired international umpire Harold “Dickie” Bird. Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis is knighted for charitable services.

Formula 1 engineer Adrian Newey, chief technical officer at the Red Bull team of world champion Sebastian Vettel, becomes an OBE. Former F1 champion Nigel Mansell – now president of charity UK Youth – gets a CBE for services to children and young people in recognition of his recent work.

Scotland’s most-capped rugby player Chris Paterson receives an MBE, a week after announcing his retirement. The same honour goes to Wales veteran Martyn Williams.

Ahead of the Olympics and Paralympics, there are knighthoods for Charles Allen, who has supported the Games in a number of roles and John Armitt, Chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority.”

And if London 2012 is the success that the organisers hope it is, you can expect to see a few more names like that on next year’s list.


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