Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has been knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.
The 35-year-old Briton, whose paternal grandparents are Grenadians, sealed a seventh drivers’ title at the Turkish Grand Prix in November – equalling Michael Schumacher’s championships record.
Rugby league legend Rob Burrow is made an MBE for services to rugby and his awareness campaign since being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
British Billie Jean King Cup captain Anne Keothavong also becomes an MBE.
The former British number one, 37, represented Great Britain in the event – previously known as the Fed Cup – before becoming captain in 2016.
Others made an MBE include former Tottenham and Chelsea striker Jimmy Greaves and ex-Wolves midfielder Ron Flowers, both World Cup winners with England in 1966.
Greaves, who later became a popular television personality, suffered a severe stroke in 2015 and his son Danny said of the MBE: “We are very, very proud of Dad. Always have been, always will be.
“At almost 81 to receive an honour from Her Majesty the Queen is just something very, very special.”
Hamilton won his first world title with McLaren in 2008, with further successes in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
He clinched a seventh world championship and became the most successful F1 driver ever when he won the Turkish Grand Prix in November 2020.
The Mercedes driver had already surpassed Schumacher’s record number of race wins the previous month, with Hamilton’s total now standing at 95.
After the Istanbul victory Hamilton said he felt like he was “only just getting started”, adding: “To all the kids out there, dream the impossible.”
He said he would “love to stay” in F1 and wanted to continue to campaign for change when it comes to human rights, diversity and environmentalism.
Incoming F1 chief executive officer Stefano Domenicali said: “Lewis is a true giant of our sport and his influence is huge both in and out of a car.
“What he has achieved is phenomenal, with still more to come. All of us at Formula 1 congratulate him on this well deserved recognition of his achievements and look forward to seeing more of his brilliance in 2021.”
Densign White, chairman of Sporting Equals, told Sky Sports News: “I think he [Hamilton] thoroughly deserves it. He is a great ambassador, a great role model and I think he’ll use that knighthood to do good things for his community.
“He’s always been an advocate for racial equality and diversity and a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I think he’s going to use that to try and improve that situation for everybody, because unless everybody wins, no one wins.”
Hamilton has not resided permanently in the UK since 2007, and his knighthood was included on the Diplomatic and Overseas List.
Source: BBC/Sky Sports