To receive a knighthood is one of the greatest honors in everyone’s lives and athletes are no exceptions. We can find some of the greatest British athletes like former Olympic and World Champions in the top athletes who are knighted. Along with the biggest stars of football on and off the pitch.
Now 7-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton is likely to receive his knighthood this New Year Honors which he truly deserves. As with his latest title he equaled the record of Michael Schumacher and became one of the best F1 drivers of all time. He is known all around the world and one of the most famous British athletes. But Hamilton is not only great in sports but also in other fields of life. He supports several great causes like racial equality, sustainable motoring and diversity in motorsports. So representing everything a knight should in these modern times. Just like the following athletes who achieved great successes and received knighthood for their contribution to sport.
List of top athletes who are knighted
7. Sir Alastair Cook
The former captain of the England Test and One-day International teams, Alastair Cook received a knighthood last year. One of the best cricket players of the modern era, he is the most capped England player and the leading run-scorer in Test matches. He led England to winning the 2009, and the 2010-11 Ashes. He scored a record 33 Test centuries for England and captained the team in an also record 59 Tests. Cook retired from international duties in 2018 but still plays for Essex County Cricket Club.
6. Sir Jackie Stewart
Sir Jackie Stewart is a 3-time Formula 1 champion and one of the greatest drivers of all time. He was competing between 1965 and 1973, also finishing as a runner-up twice in his career. Beside F1 the ‘Flying Scot’ also competed in Indianapolis 500 and in the Can-Am series. But he had an even more important role as a racing safety advocate. He campaigned for safety barriers, seat-belt and full-face helmets for drivers which were not used at that time. For his services for motorsports, Stewart received a knighthood in 2001.
5. Sir Bradley Wiggins
Sir Bradley Wiggins definitely belongs to the top athletes who are knighted with his 5 Olympic and 7 World championship titles. He has the most Olympic medals with 8 in Great Britain and is the only cyclist to win world championships on both track and road. And of course, he has also won the Tour de France in 2012. A real multi-talent who also finished 2nd in the Vuelta and 3rd in the Giro d’Italia. Wiggins became knight in 2013 as one of the greatest cyclists of British history. His fellow cyclists, Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome are also in the favorites of online sportsbooks in the UK for next year’s Tour de France.
4. Dame Kelly Holmes
She is the 2004 Olympic champion in 800 and 1500 metres, and one of greatest female British athletes of all time. She still holds the British records of 600, 800 and 1000 meters. Holmes also won two silver and a bronze medals in the world championships and another Olympic bronze in 2000. But she achieved her greatest successes in Athens at the age of 34. After her retirement she became a motivational speaker and also the founder of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust which supports young athletes.
3. Sir Mo Farah
Staying with athletics, the next one on our list of top athletes who are knighted is Sir Mo Farah. Everyone’s favorite is the most successful British track athlete regarding the Olympics. He won the 5,000 and 10,000 m in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, becoming only the second athlete in the history of modern Olympics to do that. Mo also won the double at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships ending his results with a gold in 10,000m and a silver in the 5,000 m in the 2017 WC in London. He was knighted in that year, but Farah still competes at the moment, just running marathons. But there is a chance we can see him back on track in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next year.
2. Sir Andy Murray
Sir Andy Murray is one of only two tennis players who received knighthood. But as the first male British Grand Slam winner with his 2012 US Open victory since 1936, it’s totally fair. Especially as Murray also won in Wimbledon twice, in 2013 and 2016 beside winning the Olympic gold medal in London and Rio. The former world No1 is the only player to win two Olympic gold medals in singles. Unfortunately in the last few years he has been struggling with injuries and hardly played in any tournament. We might see him in the 2021 Australian Open next where online gambling sites in the UK favor world No1 Novak Djokovic to win. Murray also took part in several charity works and was knighted for it and tennis achievements in 2017.
1. Sir Bobby Charlton
Football is the most popular sport in the UK. So we selected one of the key players of the 1966 World Cup winner English team, Sir Bobby Charlton on the top of this list. The Ballon d’Or winner midfielder played in most of his career at Manchester United where he won two Football League First Division titles. Also the European Cup scoring two goals in the final against Benfica in 1968. United became the first English club to win an international trophy with this victory. Charlton was the record goal-scorer at both MU and the England team until Wayne Rooney surpassed him in both. Still, Sir Bobby is a legend at the Red Devils and in English football. He was knighted in 1994 for all his services in sport, particularly in football.