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New Year Honours: Two Northern Ireland sporting greats and province's first female firefighter receive honours from the Queen

 

New Year Honours Northern Ireland recipients [photos] Close

Harry Gregg, former Manchester United goalkeeping legend- OBE for services to Football. (Paul Faith/PA)

Harry Gregg, former Manchester United goalkeeping legend- OBE for services to Football. (Paul Faith/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Willie John McBride- CBE for services to Rugby Union. 
Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy/BLL

Willie John McBride- CBE for services to Rugby Union. Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy/BLL

Heather Smart, Northern Irelands first female Firefighter- MBE for services to the advancement of women in the fire and rescue service.

Heather Smart, Northern Irelands first female Firefighter- MBE for services to the advancement of women in the fire and rescue service.

Gareth McAuley, Northern Ireland defender- MBE for services to Football in Northern Ireland.  Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Gareth McAuley, Northern Ireland defender- MBE for services to Football in Northern Ireland. Nick Potts/PA Wire.

PA

Crusaders Manager Stephen Baxter- BEM for services to Football in Northern Ireland. 
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Crusaders Manager Stephen Baxter- BEM for services to Football in Northern Ireland. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

UUP MLA Andy Allen- MBE for services to veterans and their families in Northern Ireland. 
(Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

UUP MLA Andy Allen- MBE for services to veterans and their families in Northern Ireland. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Professor Anne Carlisle, vice chancellor of Falmouth University, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of her services to Higher Education and the regional economy.

Professor Anne Carlisle, vice chancellor of Falmouth University, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of her services to Higher Education and the regional economy.

Adrian McAllister, Deputy Chief Constable, Lancashire Constabulary. OBE for services to policing, criminal justice and child protection.

Adrian McAllister, Deputy Chief Constable, Lancashire Constabulary. OBE for services to policing, criminal justice and child protection.

Finlay Spratt, chairman of the Prison Officers Association- MBE for public service and charity

Finlay Spratt, chairman of the Prison Officers Association- MBE for public service and charity

PSNI Inspector Rosie Leech- MBE for services to Policing and the Community in Northern Ireland. Credit: PA

PSNI Inspector Rosie Leech- MBE for services to Policing and the Community in Northern Ireland. Credit: PA

PA

Brian Ingram, Director of the Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre near Bangor- OBE for services to vulnerable children and adults in custody. 
Niall Carson/PA.

Brian Ingram, Director of the Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre near Bangor- OBE for services to vulnerable children and adults in custody. Niall Carson/PA.

PSNI Superintendent Brian Kee- Queen's Police Medal (QPM).
Credit: PSNI

PSNI Superintendent Brian Kee- Queen's Police Medal (QPM). Credit: PSNI

PA

Harry Gregg, former Manchester United goalkeeping legend- OBE for services to Football. (Paul Faith/PA)

Two Northern Ireland sporting greats and the region's first female firefighter are among those set to receive honours from the Queen.

Former Manchester United star Harry Gregg will receive an OBE at Buckingham Palace next year, while former Lions rugby captain Willie John McBride will get a CBE.

Joining them on the New Year Honours list is Heather Smart, Northern Ireland's first female firefighter, who will get an MBE.

Other MBEs go to former soldier and Ulster Unionist MLA Andy Allen, who is honoured for his work helping fellow veterans, and Northern Ireland footballer Gareth McAuley.

McBride, 78, captained the victorious 1974 Lions tour to South Africa during a distinguished career. He said he regarded his honour for services to rugby union as belonging to all his former team-mates.

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Willie John McBride- CBE for services to Rugby Union. 
Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy/BLL

Willie John McBride- CBE for services to Rugby Union. Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy/BLL

Willie John McBride- CBE for services to Rugby Union. Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy/BLL

 

In recent years he has been involved with a number of charities helping disabled and disadvantaged children.

"I'm really thrilled, a CBE is terrific. When you get to this age, you think people have forgotten about you so it is nice to be remembered," he told the Press Association.

"1974 was my Everest, to captain the Lions, and I would like to think this honour is shared with all the guys who were on that tour, because they really were outstanding and they made my job as captain very easy."

Gregg made himself a household name with 247 appearances for Manchester United in the 50s and 60s.

He survived the 1958 Munich air disaster which saw 23 people killed when a plane carrying the Manchester United team crashed on take-off in Germany.

The 86-year-old became a national hero after helping to pull survivors from the wreckage. While praised for his actions, he has always played down his role.

Earlier this year he travelled to Old Trafford for the 60th anniversary of the Munich crash, and said he believed it would be his last trip to the historic ground.

He is honoured for services to football.

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Harry Gregg, former Manchester United goalkeeping legend- OBE for services to Football. 
PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

Harry Gregg, former Manchester United goalkeeping legend- OBE for services to Football. PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

Harry Gregg, former Manchester United goalkeeping legend- OBE for services to Football. PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

 

Ms Smart, who retired earlier this year from Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, has been described as a trailblazer.

She joined the service in 1991 and paved the way for the 62 women currently working as firefighters.

Alan Walmsley, Interim Chief Fire Officer, congratulated Ms Smart and described her as a "passionate advocate and ambassador for female firefighters", who "helped change the culture of the organisation at that time".

"This award is a fitting recognition for her achievement as Northern Ireland's first female firefighter," he added.

Also among the Northern Ireland contingent on the New Year Honours list were Harcourt Developments chairman Patrick Doherty, for services to the transformation of the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, and former Queen's University vice-chancellor Professor James McElnay.

Five members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland are also honoured.

Inspector Rosie Leech will receive an MBE, recently retired Sergeant David Knox will get a British Empire Medal and three other officers will receive the Queen's Police Medal.

Belfast Telegraph


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