Downie’s Honoured In Kings List

Peter Shilton, Stuart Broad, Mary Earps, as well as Becky and Ellie Downie, were amongst the plethora of names announce this weekend in the King’s End of Year Honours List.

Of the five, legendary ex-Nottingham Forest and England goalkeeper, Peter ‘Shilts’ Shilton, was previously awarded that of the MBE (1986) and OBE (1991), now he’s adding the CBE to his personal collection ‘for services to association football and the prevention of gambling harm.’

Shilts enjoyed a lengthy playing career, for both club and career, playing for several Midlands clubs which saw him lift silverware with Leicester City in 1971 (Second Division championship and Charity Shield), before that of which came under the guidance of Brian Clough and Nottingham Forest.

Six trophies were lifted in the late seventies at the City Ground and which included two European Cup successes (1979 and 1980), a European Super Cup (1979) and the First Division championship (1978).

Playing well over a thousand games of competitive football, and having represented England at three World Cup and two European Championship finals tournaments, the legendary goalkeeper’s greatest victory has come in recent years.

Four years after marrying his second wife, jazz singer Stephanie Hayward (an addiction counsellor), in 2016, Shilton announced at the start of 2020 that he’d overcome a lengthy addiction to gambling, with the love and support of his wife.

In the time since, the Shilton’s have worked tirelessly, and endlessly, with both the government, and other bodies, to raise awareness, and which led to the publication of the book, ‘SAVED’ (Ad Lib Publishers Ltd, 2021); the CBE he is now due to receive is deserved acknowledgment for that, and all that he, and Steph, have accomplished.

Speaking of the award, Peter told the BBC: “The award is for Steph as well – for the journey we’ve been through together.

“We have had some lovely messages of congratulations. I’m pleased that it has brought gambling harm to the fore.

“There is still a lot of work to be done to combat gambling addictions, and it’s not getting any easier.

“If you are struggling, my best advice is to talk to somebody and get some help.”

Elsewhere in the New Year Honours, Mary Earps and Stuart Broad, the recent, Nottingham one-two at the BCC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, are to be awarded an MBE and CBE respectively.

Both Nottingham-born, Earps has been a mainstay for both her club, Manchester United, and for the Lionesses (England Women) over the past couple of years; a stellar couple of years, on-and-off the field has seen her, this year alone, be a World Cup finalist, as we as lift the Women’s Finalissima, and add a second, Arnold Clark winners medal to her growing collection.

Striving for the continued recognition of the women’s game Earps also launched her own clothing and apparel business this past summer, MAE27 bursting onto the scene, and she is be awarded an MBE ‘for her services to football.’

Stuart Broad meanwhile collects a CBE ‘for services to cricket’ following a great career for both club and country; it was to be a career, internationally, for England, that would see him depart on his terms – with a six, and wicket, with the final ball of his respective innings, and in an Ashes win for added measure.

Then there is the Downie sisters, Nottingham-born gymnast duo, Rebecca (Becky) and Elissa (Ellie), who are being awarded MBE’s ‘for services to gymnasts and to the sport of gymnastics.’

Becky is a three-time European Championship and two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, collecting sixteen medals in a career dating back to 2006; younger sister Ellie has a European Championship gold medal, and twelve medals in total in a career that spanned 2012-23 (she retired in January this year).

The elder of the siblings said on her socials: “For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to find the right words for this post, but I honestly still can’t quite believe it myself.

“I started gymnastics when I was 7-years-old just for fun, and here we are 24 years later. Little did I know that gymnastics would one day become my calling.

“The impact this sport has had on my life is immeasurable, and knowing I have been able to contribute towards changing the lives of others, will forever be one of the greatest privileges of my life.

“Being awarded an MBE is an incredible honour. Being able to share this moment alongside Ellie, not only for our gymnastics achievements, but for the real magnitude of our actions makes it even more special, and means more than any medal ever would.

“The sport has had a piece of my heart since day one, and I’ll continue to do everything I can, to help make gymnastics a happier and safer sport for everyone involved.”

Ellie meanwhile added: “ELLIE DOWNIE MBE – she’s got a nice ring to it.

“Honestly I haven’t quite found the words to describe what this title really means to me, nor will I think I will find them.

“I’m just beyond grateful to be recognised and awarded this MBE for my services to gymnasts more than anything, speaking out was never an easy decision but knowing that I’ve made impacts on the sport not just through my competitive achievements is something I’m extremely proud of.

“So honestly just a huge thank you to everybody who has ever supported me.

“This is 100% my proudest achievement ever.”

These NY Honours for several of Nottingham’s finest, along with the BBC Sports Personality Awards successes, is a great way to round off the year for the county of Nottinghamshire.

We, at the Nottingham Sport, thank you, and salute you all, for what you’ve done, and continue to do.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @TeamGB Becky and Ellie Downie have been awarded MBE’s.

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