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Catriona Matthew among host of high achievers to be recognised with honours

The Independent
The Independent
 2022-01-19

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Internationally-acclaimed golfer Catriona Matthew and former Scotland footballer Rose Reilly are among more than 100 people to be honoured at the Palace of Holyrood on Wednesday.

The sports stars are among a host of high achievers to have been recognised for their efforts in the last two years but only now being able to receive their awards in person because of the pandemic.

Mrs Matthew, who grew up in North Berwick and who plays mainly on the US-based Ladies Pro Golf Association circuit, has been made an OBE for her services to golf.

The sportswoman, whose husband Graeme is her caddy, turned pro in 1995, won the Women’s British Open in 2009 and in 2019 was the victorious European team captain of the Solheim Cup, a biennial competition between top women golfers from Europe and the US.

Meanwhile, Ms Reilly, a former professional football player from Kilmarnock who played for Scotland and for Italy, has been made a CBE for her services to women’s football.

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The 67-year-old attracted the interest of scouts at Celtic, and was allowed to play provided she cut her hair short and called herself Ross.

She left to play for Reims as a teenager, and later joined ACF Milan, and was a member of the victorious Italian national side which won the Mundialito, the precursor to the women’s world cup, in 1984.

Many of those who have been chosen are being recognised for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic, alongside others who have excelled in academia, the arts, sport, business and charity.

Jacqueline Kay, a poet and former Makar – the national poet of Scotland – has been made a CBE for her services to literature, and the Rt Hon Brian Wilson a former government minister who is now chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides, has been made a CBE for his services to business.

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Miss Olivia Strong, founder of RunForHeroes, has been made an MBE for her services to fundraising during Covid-19.

She raised millions of pounds encouraging people to run 5K and donate £5 to NHS Charities Together during lockdown.

And Mrs Fiona Drouet, the mother of an undergraduate, Emily, who took her own life after being subjected to a campaign of abuse, has been made an MBE for setting up Scottish charity EmilyTest, which helps tackle gender-based violence.

Former professional basketball player Kieron Achara (MBE), the TV science presenter Dr Hermione Cockburn (OBE) and Scott McPartlin (MBE), a telecoms engineer who spent three nights in a tent on the Hebridean island of Coll to help a vulnerable islander whose signal had been knocked out by a lightning strike, have also been recognised for their achievements.

The 115 recipients will be split over two ceremonies on Wednesday, one in the morning and another in the afternoon, and will receive their honours from the Princess Royal.

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