Legendary cricket umpire Dickie Bird believes his OBE outweighs anything he achieved in his career.
The popular 78-year-old Yorkshireman, who stood in 66 Test matches, was named in the New Year Honours list today.
Bird said: “It is a tremendous honour and I feel very humble. I am delighted and honoured.
“People always ask me what stands out, what do I remember best?
“I have always said that standing in three World Cup finals were my best memories but to get this is the greatest honour of my life.
“I have been given the Freedom of Barnsley, honorary doctorates at Leeds, Sheffield Hallam and Huddersfield universities and I have been voted Yorkshireman of the Year.
“They are all great honours but this OBE stands out above them all. It is the pinnacle.”
Bird, who was born in Barnsley, is fondly remembered as one of the game’s great characters as well as one of its finest umpires.
He enjoyed a 23-year career as an international umpire before stepping down in 1996. He also played first-class cricket for Yorkshire and Leicestershire in his younger days.
Bird’s latest award also comes for his services to charity as well as cricket.
He said: “I have got my own charity, the Dickie Bird Foundation, for under-privileged children.
“We are nationwide and we branch out to children whose parents find it difficult to buy sports equipment for them.
“It is not just cricket, all sports.
“My aim is to get these kids off street corners, away from television and doing exercise.
“Then I think to myself I am doing something in life. It gives me a lot of pleasure and takes up a lot of my time now.
“I also doe a lot of work with Age Concern.”