Lewis Hamilton, who has been knighted. | Reuters (Tolga Bozoglu)


Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has been knighted in the Queen's New Year Honours List.

Hamilton is one of a host of sportspeople to be recognised in a list that sees almost 15% of honours' recipients coming from the public sector. Medical workers, firefighters, teachers, police and local government officials are recognised for having made huge individual impacts, in response to the coronavirus pandemic in particular.

Just over 14% of recipients are from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background, making this the most ethnically diverse list yet.

There are 123 health and social care workers - from British Red Cross Ambulance Crew to care home managers - who have all played a part in response to the pandemic.

The majority of awards are for the contributions people have made in their communities. Of those receiving an award, 65% are recognised for their community work. Anne Baker, 106, from Salisbury, receives an MBE for fundraising for the NSPCC, and 104-year-old Ruth Saunders gets an MBE for walking a marathon to raise money for Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

Other sportspeople include former rugby player Rob Burrow, who receives an MBE for the awareness he has raised around motor neuron disease, particularly during the pandemic. Two members of England's 1966 World Cup squad - Ron Flowers and Jimmy Greaves - receive MBEs for services to football.

British Billie Jean King Cup captain Anne Keothavong also becomes an MBE. Actor Sheila Hancock receives a damehood for services to drama and charity.

Boris Johnson says: "In a year when so many have made sacrifices to protect our NHS and save people’s lives, the outstanding efforts of those receiving honours today are a welcome reminder of the strength of human spirit, and of what can be achieved through courage and compassion.

"The 2021 New Year Honours offer us an opportunity to salute their dedication and recognise many who have gone above and beyond in their contribution to our country."