SUNDERLAND University chancellor and Black Cats’ fan Steve Cram has seen his MBE ‘upgraded’ to an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year’s Honours list.
The former world champion 1,500 metre runner and Olympian received the award for his service to sport as the recent chairman of the English Institute for Sport (EIS).
Cram, originally from Jarrow, shot to fame as a teenager and is one of the country’s best known sports personalities and commentators.
He now lives in Northumberland.
Cram, who was made an MBE for his athletics achievements which also saw him take silver in the 1984 Olympics and set a world record for the 1,500m and the mile, stepped down from the EIS in August.
He said: “It’s really fantastic to have this recognition, especially all these years after I stopped competing.
“A large part of my journey since then has been the EIS and we have put a lot of things in place to give support to our Olympic programmes.
Others who were honoured today include Hillsborough campaigner Margaret Aspinall, whose son James, 18, was killed in the tragedy.
She has received a CBE for services to the families of the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the disaster.
Mrs Aspinall, along with Trevor Hicks, president of the group, were the driving force in a decades-long legal battle ending with the quashing of earlier inquest verdicts and the holding of the currently on-going new inquests.
Designer Mary Quant, widely credited with popularising the mini skirt, has been made a Dame.
The 80-year-old is given the honour for services to British fashion.
Veteran actress Joan Collins is also is made a dame and said the recognition for her decades of charity work was “humbling”.
The 81-year-old actress, a devoted monarchist, said she was “deeply honoured”.
Television presenter and campaigner Esther Rantzenalso becomes a Dame – receiving the honour for her work with children and older people, having established telephone helplines for both children in distress or danger and older people experiencing isolation.