Twice a year, on her official birthday and at new year, Her Majesty the Queen hands out a number of honours to the great and the good, and also to ordinary members of the public who are rightly recognised for their contributions to the framework and fabric of this country.
While the Prime Minister at the time and their government have huge input in the more high-profile people involved, the rank-and-file awards begin with a formal application process.
Some years ago, working with former Worthing mayor Tom Wye and helped by MP Sir Peter Bottomley, we set about trying to get a very hard-working and dedicated local man the rightful recognition for over 50 years’ voluntary work in Sussex sports administration. The application included a number of testimonials from, among others, the Sussex County FA and Sussex County Cricket Club, as well as the Worthing Football League and The Sussex Cricket Invitation League, as well as input from both of our local MPs and a couple of people involved with the local media.
When all put together the application was, although I say it myself, pretty impressive and was submitted to the Cabinet Office for consideration in the next four sets of awards. Unfortunately, over the period of two years it never went any further, although the subject, who was totally in the dark over the nomination and, ever the sportsman, would be the first to say ‘some you win some you lose’.
But having seen some of the people who have received honours since we penned our application, including Nick Clegg getting a knighthood, it does unfortunately ignite the cynic inside me.
Yes, I may well be biased, but if our man, who many people reading this will have known and respected for many years, doesn’t deserve recognition for over half a century of tireless community work then, frankly, who does?