The 10 Best Sporting Knights – Sir Andy Murray would be in good company!

By Johnathan Kelly


DESPITE a record-breaking 2016, Andy Murray still feels he is too young to receive a knighthood.


The 29-year-old tennis star rounded off a best-ever season by beating Novak Djokovic in the ATP World Tour Finals last night to ensure his place as world number one.


Murray beat the Serb in straight sets to round off a year that included retaining Olympic Gold at the Rio Games, while maintaining an incredible 24 win record on the spin.


However, the Dunblane native remains coy on the prospect of being known as “Sir Andy” for the moment.


“Obviously it is the highest honour you can get in this country,” he told a number of national newspapers. “I don’t know, I feel too young for something like that.” Murray says.


“I don’t think about that stuff much, really. When I win any award or am presented with anything it is nice because it is recognition for what you have given your life to, up to now anyway.


“I am still young and there are still a lot of things that can go wrong, I could still mess up and make mistakes. Do stuff wrong. I am just trying to keep doing what I am doing, working hard, and achieving stuff.”


Murray seems alone in his modesty with many backing the Scottish star to claim the honour in the New Year and join what is an illustrious list of sporting names to receive the honour.


Here at UWS Sport we decided to count down our top 10.


10) Sir Henry Cecil


Largely regarded as the greatest flat trainers, Cecil received his knighthood in 2011 for his services to the sport. The Aberdeen native who died in 2013 trained three 2,000 guineas winners as well as 8 Epsom Derby triumphs.


9) Sir Henry Cooper


The British heavyweight fighter who went toe-to-toe with Muhammad Ali twice is credited with 40 wins from 55 throughout his infamous career. Though none of them came against Ali, the six foot Cockney who’s left hand was nicknamed ‘Enry’s ‘Ammer’ was awarded a knighthood in 1987 and up until now is the only boxer to hold such a title.


8) Sir Anthony McCoy


Without doubt the greatest jockey horse racing has ever seen, Tony McCoy’s career came to an end in 2015 with a tidy 4,358 winners to put his name to. McCoy was knighted in 2016 for his services to the sport.


7) Sir Norman Brookes


Brookes remains the only tennis player to receive a knighthood. Honoured more than half a century ago for a career that included two Wimbledon titles and three grand slams, the Australian received his honour especially for his service to charities and social causes.


6) Sir Stanley Matthews


The only footballer to be honoured while still playing as well as the being the first winner for both the European Football of the Year and Football Writer’s Footballer of the Year. Matthews’ playing career lasted incredibly until he was 70 years old playing competitively until the age of 50. He was awarded his honour in 1965.


5) Sir Jackie Stewart


The former Formula One driver was awarded a knighthood in 2001. Born in Milton and nicknamed “Flying Scot”, Stewart is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in motor racing. Despite wining three Driver’s Championships, Stewart is praised for his work in the field of driver safety and is credited with the impeccable safety record of the sport following the death of Ayrton Senna.


4) Sir Chris Hoy


One of Great Britain’s greatest Olympians, Chris Hoy is the proud holder of six Olympic Gold medals and 11 World Championships. With his three golds at the 2008 Olympic Games, Hoy became Scotland’s most successful Olympian and the first ever British athlete to win three gold medals at a single Olympics.


3) Sir Matt Busby


Only surpassed by his fellow Scot, Busby is thought of as one of the greatest ever British managers, leading his Manchester United to a total of 13 trophies in 25 years with the club. Busby is revered for building a new side after the Munich air disaster. Busby received his knighthood in 1969.


2) Sir Alf Ramsay


The only man to lead an England National Team to a World Cup, Ramsey was knighted in 1967 in recognition of the win that is still celebrated to this day.


1) Sir Alex Ferguson


The greatest football manager ever, without question. But it all could have been so different for Sir Alex. As rumour would have it he was one game away from losing his job at United in the 1980s before leading them to a period of domination in English football that lasted two decades. Ferguson impressive haul includes two Champions League Titles, 13 Premier Leagues and five FA Cups.


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