London - Legendary jump jockey Tony McCoy was awarded a knighthood in the New
Year Honours List, in which British sports stars including
Chris Froome were recognised for their achievements.
Two-time Tour de France winner Froome, 1964 Formula One world
champion John Surtees and five-time world snooker champion Ronnie
O'Sullivan were among those honoured.
Stars from football, tennis and boxing were among those made
commanders (CBE), officers (OBE) or regular members (MBE) of the Most
Excellent Order of the British Empire, an order of chivalry.
McCoy, who becomes entitled to use the prefix Sir, rode 4 358 winners in his extraordinary career.
The 41-year-old retired from racing in April after being crowned
British jump racing champion jockey for a 20th consecutive year.
"It is an unbelievable privilege and honour to receive a knighthood
in the New Year Honours List. I certainly wasn't expecting it," the
Northern Irishman said.
"I consider myself lucky to have had a job I loved.
"The support from the public and racing community since my retirement has been overwhelming.
"A knighthood really tops off what's been a crazy and memorable year."
Tour de France defending champion Froome said he was "extremely
humbled and proud" to be made an OBE after he became the first Briton to
win cycling's premier road race on two occasions with his victory in
O'Sullivan, 40, arguably the most naturally-gifted snooker player of all time, was recognised with the OBE.
He won the 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2013 world crowns.
Last year he said he did not feel he had done anything to merit an honour, only snooker titles.
"It came as a great surprise to receive my OBE," he said.
"I am extremely grateful for this recognition which is a great honour and has made both myself and my family very proud."
Surtees, the only man to win world titles on two and four wheels, has
been awarded a CBE in recognition of his services to motor sport.
The 81-year-old won seven world motorcycling championships between
1956 and 1960, before switching to car racing, winning the Formula One
world title with Ferrari in 1963.
From the world of football, Denis Law, a star of the 1960s Manchester
United teams and Scotland's joint-top scorer with 30 goals, was awarded
Francis Lee, who won the league title with Manchester City in 1968 and was the club chairman in the 1990s, was also made a CBE.
England's women footballers finished third at the World Cup in Canada
earlier this year and captain Steph Houghton was made an MBE along with
veteran midfielder Fara Williams.
Sue Barker, who won the 1976 French Open tennis title and is now one
of BBC television's main sports presenters, was made an OBE.
Carl Frampton, the IBF super-bantamweight champion, was awarded the MBE.
"I am happy and proud, and I am pleased that my sport of professional boxing has got some recognition," he said.
Tracey Neville, the England women's netball team coach, was awarded
an MBE. She is the sister of former Manchester United and England
footballers Gary and Phil Neville.