England

Knighthood for Tour de France chief Gary Verity

Gary Verity
Image caption Gary Verity had "no hesitation" in accepting a knighthood

Gary Verity, the chief executive of tourist agency Welcome to Yorkshire, has been awarded a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

It is in recognition of his services to tourism and the 2014 Tour De France Grand Depart in Yorkshire.

Mr Verity, who lives in North Yorkshire, said he had had "no hesitation" in accepting.

"The people of Yorkshire bought into the dream of bringing the Tour here very early on."

The Grand Depart with the race's first two stages attracted two and a half million spectators to the county in July 2014.

Image copyright AFP/GEtty
Image caption Gary Verity (left) and Christian Prudhomme at the head of the Tour cavalcade

Christian Prudhomme, the race director said at the time Yorkshire had "raised the bar for all future hosts".

'Ordinary bloke'

Mr Verity said of the knighthood: "It's the most enormous honour. It's quite bonkers.

"I'm just an ordinary bloke just trying to do his job."

Following the Tour de France in Yorkshire a social media campaign called for him to receive an award.

Mr Verity said it had been "flattering and kind" for people to put his name forward.

He told the Yorkshire Post newspaper in 2014 "I am not expecting to get any sort of gong, or whatever you want to call it.

"You can put money on it."

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