Manchester

Manchester 'human fly' climber Joe Brown appointed CBE

Joe Brown
Image caption At the peak of his career Joe Brown could tackle any mountain

An 80-year-old climber known as the "human fly" has been appointed CBE in the New Year Honours list.

Joe Brown, from Ardwick in Manchester, said receiving the award was like being recognised for "doing something he loved every day".

In 1955, he became the first man to reach the summit of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world.

His 60-year career started in the late 1940s, tackling the copper mines at Alderley Edge.

He said: "Receiving the CBE is so strange, because it's like I'm being awarded for enjoying myself.

"I have never lacked enthusiasm, and I surprise even myself at how much I love my sport.

"It's that spirit of adventure which has taken me all over the world."

'Biggest gripes'

He has conquered the likes of Everest, Mustagh Towers in Pakistan and Latok II, also in Pakistan.

Latok II is known as one of the most technically demanding climbs in the world.

In 26 years he did not have a single fall, but while he was on a "fairly easy climb" he toppled 70ft (21m) and escaped with just a bruised arm.

Mr Brown still climbs now but one of his "biggest gripes" is being unable to tackle the summits he once reached.

In May he tackled the Llanberis pass, with the "older climbers".

'Cato's gong'

There was a CBE for Manchester-born actor Bert Kwouk, 80, best known for his role as Cato Fong, Inspector Clouseau's man servant in The Pink Panther movies.

Mr Kwouk's most recent work includes the final series of BBC One's The Last Of The Summer Wine.

June Kelly, a junior football coach from Manchester was also awarded an MBE for services to education.

She is a learning mentor at Temple Primary School in Manchester and runs the Abraham Moss Warriors football team.

Ms Kelly also campaigned successfully for a change in Football Association rules after her multi-cultural football team was initially fined when its fasting Muslim players refused to play during Ramadan.

The FA eventually decided that no team must play if it affects religious observance.

Others from Greater Manchester to be honoured for their services include Rochdale head teacher Allison Crompton of Middleton Technology School for her services to local and national education; Dr Minaxi Sharad Desai for services to women's healthcare and Gulam Mustafa Choudhury for his support of the Bangladeshi community.