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New Year Honours for McBride and Beaumont

CONGRATULATIONS to long-term Wooden Spoon supporters, Willie John McBride and Bill Beaumont who have both been named in the New Year Honours list.

Willie John McBride CBE

Willie John McBride CBE

Northern Irish rugby great Willie John McBride says he is “absolutely thrilled” to receive a CBE in the New Year Honours. The 78-year-old, the most decorated player in British and Irish Lions history, is recognised for services to rugby. The Co Antrim man, was given an MBE 47 years ago. His charity work sees him serve as the Honorary President of Wooden Spoon Ulster and as vice-president of Riding for the Disabled.

He said: “I am absolutely thrilled. I was very fortunate that I played in an era when there were some wonderful players around. “I played in a wonderful era of rugby in the four home countries.” McBride retired from playing in 1975 and was Lions manager on the New Zealand tour eight years later. In 1997 he was an inaugural inductee into the International Rugby Hall of Fame.

Sir Bill Beaumont CBE DL

Sir Bill Beaumont CBE DL

Former Guinness Six Nations chairman Sir William Blackledge Beaumont CBE DL was rewarded with a knighthood for his services to rugby. Beaumont – who captained England to a Grand Slam Five Nations victory in 1980, is a former chairman of the RFU and was elected chairman of World Rugby in 2016.

Awarded a CBE in 2008, Beaumont is currently serving as the chairman of World Rugby and is Honorary President of Wooden Spoon Lancashire.

The news came as quite the surprise, he said: “To think that I would be mentioned alongside the great sports people who have been knighted was very humbling.”