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McGeechan, Button honored in New Year's list

McGeechan, Button honored in New Year's list

Rugby great Ian McGeechan was knighted and Formula One champion Jenson Button also recognized in Queen Elizabeth's New Year's Honors List.
The 63-year-old McGeechan was honored for services to rugby, the latest of which was coaching the British and Irish Lions against South Africa, narrowly losing the midyear series 2-1.
The tour was his unprecedented seventh as either a Lions player or coach. An inside back capped 32 times by Scotland, he played in all four tests in the victorious 1974 tour to South Africa and the 1977 tour of New Zealand.
As coach, he won two series _ against Australia in 1989 and South Africa in 1997 _ but lost on two trips to New Zealand as coach in 1993 and an assistant in 2005.
"Rugby has been a huge part of my life for over 40 years," McGeechan said on Wednesday. "And to have achieved everything I have with Scotland, in club rugby and with the Lions has been an immensely rewarding and enjoyable experience.
"At the moment I am enjoying a rest from coaching and enjoying more time with my family, but my passion for rugby and for sporting excellence remains undimmed."
In 1990, McGeechan guided Scotland to its last Grand Slam. This decade he's coached Wasps to European and English titles.
Button was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to motor sport.
Until this year, Button won only one race following his F1 debut in 2000. Then he won six of the first seven races en route to the 2009 title for Brawn GP, the team Ross Brawn resurrected following Honda's withdrawal from F1 for financial reasons in March just before the season began.
"This really is the crowning glory to what has been the most incredible year of my life," Button said. "I'm incredibly proud to have joined the likes of Mike Hawthorn, Graham Hill, Jim Clark, John Surtees, Sir Jackie Stewart, James Hunt, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Lewis Hamilton as British Formula One world champion.
"But to be recognized by Her Majesty The Queen and the British people is a tremendous honor for me."
Brawn also received the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) after leading Brawn GP to the constructors' championship.
Other recipients included MBEs for Catriona Matthew, winner of the Women's British Open 10 weeks after giving birth to her second child; Beth Tweddle, Britain's first gymnastics world champion who won her second world title this year; and Claire Taylor, the batsman who helped England win the Women's World Cup and the World Twenty20 and was named most valuable player at both cricket tournaments.