By Philip Barker
The Sports Journalists’ Association sends its warm congratulations to member Don Anthony on being made an MBE, and to Vic Wakeling, the former managing director at Sky Sport, on receiving the CBE for services to sports broadcasting, in the Birthday Honours list announced today.
The officers and committee of the SJA hope that Anthony’s award will provide a timely boost after a spell of poor health.
The MBE is the latest accolade for Anthony, who has written and spoken about sport in just about every corner of the world. A student at Loughborough, he was one of the first Britons to study at the Sports University in Cologne, when courses on sport were not widely available in Britain.
Anthony’s own teaching career took in university positions in Manchester, Loughborough and London and in his later years at the Mediterranean University in Cyprus.
An international hammer thrower, Anthony competed for Great Britain at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, where he finished 12th. He had earlier just missed out on bronze at the 1954 Empire Games in Vancouver and also threw for England at the 1958 Games in Cardiff.
Anthony was the driving force in the foundation of the English Volleyball Association and he remains the organisation’s honorary president. Even the sport’s hall of fame is named after him.
Throughout his career he put in the air miles to lead coaching courses with UNESCO and Olympic Solidarity, and has been a trustee of the British Olympic Foundation since it was formed. He found time to write a dozen books including the biography of his long-time friend Philip Noel Baker, the Olympic medallist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
He contributed regularly to the Olympic Review and World Sports magazine. The International Olympic Committee recognised his contribution in 2007 with an award for the promotion of Olympism.
Wakeling was managing director of Sky Sports until his retirement in 2009 after 15 years spent revolutionising sports coverage in the UK.
“I was lucky enough to lead a great team within Sky Sports,” Wakeling said today, “and this award reflects on everyone who has been part of it.”
Also made MBE is veteran athletics coach and regular contributor to magazines and author of several books, Frank Horwill. The founder of the British Milers’ Club, to which the likes of Seb Coe and Steve Ovett gave much credit for their Olympic gold medals, Horwill, 84, has been coaching for 50 years.
Among other notable sports-related award-winners named today is Jessica Ennis, the 2009 and 2010 SJA Sportswoman of the Year, who receives an MBE.
Henry Cecil, the racehorse trainer, is made a knight, while David Higgins, until recently the chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, also gets a knighthood.
England’s Ashes victory is marked with OBEs to captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower. Alastair Cook is made an MBE. Also to gain an MBE was 15-time Tour de France stage-winning cyclist Mark Cavendish. Golfer Lee Westwood gets an OBE.
UPCOMING SJA DATES
- Nominate an SJA member to carry the torch on 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. Click here for details. Deadline June 27
- Mon Sep 12: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Click here for more details and to book yourself in for the day.
- Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – Booking now open. For more details, click here.
All details subject to alteration. Keep checking sportsjournalists.co.uk for updates