THE New Year honours were always going to be dominated by Team GB’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes – and this is reflected by Leed’s very own golden girl Nicola Adams being made an OBE and Kadeena Cox, an MBE.
Alongside the knighthoods being bestowed upon Andy Murray and Mo Farah, these honours are not just for sporting prowess but how these athletes have inspired a nation, and become role models to many, after overcoming adversity to enjoy sustained success at the pinnacle of their respective disciplines.
Perhaps the toughest task of all for the honours committee was deciding which sporting superstars to omit from a final list which is noteworthy for an apparent dearth of community heroes from Yorkshire.
Though each of the recipients have excelled in their own field, not least Bishop James Jones who presided over the Hillsborough inquiry, it appears the powers-that-be have tried to be too populist.
Sir Ken Dodd? Dame Patricia Routledge (Hyacinth Bouquet)? Victoria Beckham OBE? It’s hard to justify these celebrity adornments, and the titles given to civil servants for doing their job, at the expense of those teachers, street cleaners, charity volunteers and community stalwarts who make such a lasting difference on a daily basis.
Though not household names, they contribute as much to the fabric of the nation as the sporting and showbusiness stars who have been honoured. Perhaps the time has come for the Queen’s birthday honours next summer to be a celebrity-free zone in order to redress the balance.