Edinburgh judo veteran in CBE honour

George Kerr George Kerr's honour comes after a lifetime of achievement in the sport

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One of the country's top judo experts, Edinburgh pensioner George Kerr, said he was "ecstatic" to receive a CBE.

The 73-year-old will receive the honour for services to judo.

Mr Kerr is president of the British Judo Association and has been practising the sport since he was eight-years-old.

Professor Stephen Blackmore, regius keeper at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, is also to be honoured for services to plant conservation.

Mr Kerr, who is a grandfather-of-two, said his CBE came as a surprise.

He said: "I am ecstatic, I could not believe it. To get a CBE is phenomenal.

"I'm very, very surprised and honoured to receive such a high award as a CBE.

"My family and everyone is delighted."

Top Japanese award

Nicknamed Mr Judo, he was also honoured by the Emperor of Japan in his November honours list.

Mr Kerr is to receive the Order of the Rising Sun, one of Japan's highest awards, next month.

The honour, understood to be the Japanese equivalent of a CBE, is in recognition of Mr Kerr's contribution to the sport and to UK-Japanese relations.

This year he was also given one of the sport's greatest and most exclusive global honours.

He was awarded the 10th Dan in February, a title held by only five other people in the world and also received an honorary doctorate from Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University this year.

He said: "It has been a fantastic year. I've been so honoured and humbled and blessed, it's like it's been sent from heaven."

Others from Edinburgh, Fife and the Lothians to be honoured include: Thomas Attenburgh, for services to the scouts in Edinburgh, Margaret Mullen, for services to education in Fife, Ann McKay, of Edinburgh University for services to higher education, Lily Laing, for services to the police in Edinburgh, Catriona Mason, for services to lace making in Edinburgh and Shaben Begum, from Edinburgh, for services to healthcare.

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