Wiggins, Brailsford and Storey set to lead sporting figures on New Year's Honour List

Tour de France champ and Team GB boss in line for knighthoods, mum-to-be Stoery set to be named a Dame

by Simon_MacMichael   December 18, 2012  

Wiggins riding Arc de Triomphe

Bradley Wiggins, Dave Brailsford and Sarah Storey are reportedly set to lead the list of people from the world of sport recognised in the forthcoming New Year’s Honours List. Wiggins and Brailsford are in line for knighthoods, reports Telegraph.co.uk, while Storey, who is also expecting a baby, is in line to celebrate a landmark year for her and husband Barney by being named a Dame.

This year’s London Olympic and Paralympic Games mean that sporting figures will be more prominent on the list than has been the case in recent years, with only one person associated with sport usually named a knight or dame on each list, according to a quota system.

Run a bank or scale the career ladder in the civil service and you’re guaranteed a gong, it seems, but sportsmen and women, even world champions, really have to go above and beyond the call of duty these days.

That quota system, set by the Cabinet Office, has been thrown out of the window this year, however, with the Telgraph reporting that sailor Ben Ainslie and wheelchair athlete David Weir will also receive knighthoods.

It is rare enough for active sportspeople to be awarded such an accolade, and for four of them to be recognised in such a way underlines just what a unique year 2012 has been in the history of British sport.

Even lower tiers of honours, such as OBEs and MBEs, will be awarded to athletes in unprecedented numbers.

Not everyone associated with the Olympic Games who has been nominated for a knighthood has accepted, however – Danny Boyle, director of a spectacular opening ceremony that was in parts widely viewed as a thinly veiled attack on government policy on areas such as the NHS, is reported to have turned one down.

Besides his London 2012 time trial gold medal – the fourth Olympic gold medal of his career – Wiggins’ Tour de France win has been hailed as the greatest performance ever by a British sportsperson.

He has previously said that while personally he would be reluctant to accept a knighthood, he would put his own feelings aside and do so in memory of his late grandfather.

Brailsford, in his role as team principal at Sky, helped engineer that success, and has been mastermind of the dominant performance of Team GB’s cyclists in the last two Olympic Games.

On Sunday evening, he was named Coach of the Year for the second time at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, where Wiggins took the individual title.

Storey, meanwhile, this summer clinched four Paralympic Games gold medals in London, taking her career total to 11 – five of those won in the swimming pool starting at Barcelona in 1992, the sport she pursued before switching to cycling ahead of Beijing four years ago.

While the decisions over the honours will have already been made,The Sun has joined calls for Wiggins to be knighted, saying: “If you don’t feel Her Majesty’s sword on your shoulders for being the first Brit to win the Tour de France and then claiming Olympic gold, a unique achievement in cycling, you might as well cut your own head off.”

Should Wiggins indeed get knighted, it’s likely to lead to a bit of confusion within the ranks of the foreign press unfamiliar with the intricacies of the British honours system about how exactly he should be addressed – Sir Bradley, Sir Brad, Sir Wiggins, or something else?

In June last year, at a pre-Tour de France press conference in London’s Soho, a Norwegian journalist asked Mark Cavendish how he should be known after he had been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours.

“Sir Cav,” he joked, to the merriment of all but the journalist who had asked the question, who apparently took the reply at face value. Quickly, the then HTC-Highroad rider added, “No. Mark Cavendish MBE!"

18 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Arise, Sir Sideburns.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3424 posts]
18th December 2012 - 16:13


Good stuff.

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [468 posts]
18th December 2012 - 17:20


notfastenough wrote:
Arise, Sir Sideburns.

Well let's not forget the loin was knighted Sirloin, Sir Sideburns unlikely but it would be fun.


antonio's picture

posted by antonio [989 posts]
18th December 2012 - 17:43


Sir Velo.

Joselito's picture

posted by Joselito [141 posts]
18th December 2012 - 18:01



Going to use that as my signature.

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
18th December 2012 - 18:32


Arise Sir-cumference

posted by kobacom [85 posts]
18th December 2012 - 18:35


Arise Sir Rendipity

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
18th December 2012 - 18:52


Totally underwhelming (the news rather than the puns).

Surely the achievements of sports people are recognised within the sporting arena, rather than through an honours system used mostly to grease palms and reward political favours.

Down with this sort of thing.

posted by paulfg42 [379 posts]
18th December 2012 - 19:17


you ain't got to do much these days to get a gong, they don't mean as much as they used to imo

posted by Karbon Kev [682 posts]
18th December 2012 - 20:55


Karbon Kev wrote:
you ain't got to do much these days to get a gong, they don't mean as much as they used to imo

1st Overall Tour de France 1st Stage 9 ITT & 19 ITT
1st Overall Paris–Nice 1st Points classification 1st Stage 8 ITT
1st Overall Tour de Romandie 1st Stage 1 & 5 ITT
1st Overall Critérium du Dauphiné 1st Stage 4 ITT
3rd Overall Volta ao Algarve 1st Stage 5 ITT

Thats not much really is it Thinking

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2826 posts]
19th December 2012 - 8:21

1 Like

Don't forget the time trial at the Olympics.

Any of the results that Wiggo achieved are outstanding on their own. To do them all in one season is a hell of a lot more than 'not doing much'.

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

badback's picture

posted by badback [273 posts]
19th December 2012 - 9:58


I think exceptional British talent/effort of any kind should be recognised and celebrated, across a wide range of formats and arenas.

How other people have orchestrated their way onto the honours list; and to acheive what gains, is (with respect) irrelevant in my opinion, and is potentially an argument for a different, more politically slanted forum.

It would be a sad day if British cycling success couldn't be unanimously supported by British cyclists.

Chapeau Sir (Bradley).

posted by Hoester [63 posts]
19th December 2012 - 12:49


He's had some great achievements and has absolutely deserved the BBC sports personality in the hardest year ever to win that, but I don't think he's quite yet made it as one of cycling's 'greats'. I would prefer it if these kind of awards were made upon people's retirement. What would it take to put him up there along with the likes of Indurain, Anquetil, et. al?

- The other two grand tours - that'd do it
- World TT champion - notable by it's absence (though a tall order with the likes of Cancellara and Martin on the scene)
- The hour - possibly the lest likely but the one I'd most like to see.

It takes someone with huge cahunas to have a pop at the hour - it is ridiculously hard, takes specialist equipment, and it is a very public failure if you don't make it. But if you break the record...then that's stuff-of-legends.

I reckon the strategy would be to have a tilt at Boardman's 'Best Human Effort' record with full aero kit. With proper training and preparation I reckon that could be in the bag. Then recover, and come back with the basic kit and round-tubed bike for a pop at the official UCI hour record.

andyspaceman's picture

posted by andyspaceman [231 posts]
19th December 2012 - 13:25


He doesn't need to be a cycling "great" to win SPOTY. Just a British sporting great. And he is one, IMO.

I'd love to see him do the hour record too, btw.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [930 posts]
19th December 2012 - 13:53


This news item has appeared on another site and all the trolls have come out in force in the comments column.


posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [603 posts]
19th December 2012 - 16:33


This news item has appeared on another site and all the trolls have come out in force in the comments column.

That sounds about right. Probably the usual Sports Direct wearing, Jeremy Kyle watching suspects who expect everything on a plate and get jealous with people who've actually done something with their lives.

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

badback's picture

posted by badback [273 posts]
19th December 2012 - 16:46


Does froome get a knighthood next year if he can win le tour

posted by kylemalco [33 posts]
19th December 2012 - 18:56


I thought he looked fairly non-plussed when Kate walked on stage at SPOTY ... and Cath looked pretty much angry / sickened ..

I cannae imaging Brad's a Royalist by any stretch of the imaginaton..... personally I'd love to see him tell the Palace to stick it .... won't happen though...

Republican, moi ??

Hell Yeah

Me, Myself and I

posted by phax71 [301 posts]
20th December 2012 - 10:07