Queen's Birthday Honours: Wales manager Jayne Ludlow awarded MBE

Jayne Ludlow
Jayne Ludlow was named the Football Associations Player's Player of the Year three times between 2001 and 2004.

Wales manager Jayne Ludlow has been awarded an MBE for services to women's football in Wales in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Ludlow, 40, guided Wales to the brink of qualifying for the 2019 World Cup.

She won the first of 61 Wales caps aged 17 in 1996 and was at Arsenal 13 years.

Ex-hurdler and Wales rugby wing Nigel Walker wins an OBE, former world record marathon holder Steve Jones an MBE and ex-Wales hockey star Sheila Morrow an OBE.

Ludlow said she was "honoured and humbled" by her accolade.

She also told BBC Radio Wales: "When I first opened the letter I was blown away. I didn't expect it and it's just fantastic.

"But obviously my close family did know and I think they were chomping at the bit to be able to tell people."

Ludlow added: "I hope all those working alongside me are as proud of this as I am, I am very lucky to have been given so much help from our women's team staff and players over the last few years and as a group we are benefitting from loving working together as a national team.

"I hope all those who have helped me along the way from my boys club days in Treherbert to the football clubs I have represented will enjoy this recognition too."

Ludlow's journey

Jayne Ludlow
Jayne Ludlow scored 19 goals for Wales and captained the side on 38 occasions

Ludlow was an integral member of the Arsenal side team that won a domestic 'triple' of Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup in 2001.

In 2007 she helped Arsenal win an unprecedented quadruple which included the Uefa Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.

Ludlow also played for Barry Town, Millwall, Southampton as well as a loan spell with New York Magic.

After retiring from international football in 2012 and the game altogether in 2013 and following a spell in charge of Reading, she succeeded Jarmo Matikainen as Wales manager in October, 2014.

Llwynypia-born Ludlow has transformed the fortunes of Wales' national teams at all age levels and has done much to raise the profile of women's football in Wales.

"I have learned so much through my career, both playing and managing," she added in an interview with BBC Wales Today.

"I am proud of the way women's football is progressing right now. The amount of spectators watching our game now has grown immensely, which is great.

"We are growing confidence in young females and that is brilliant. We are letting them step into the sporting arena and feel part of it. It is much bigger than just the success of the senior national team.

"For me, it's life. Football is my life."

Steve Jones
Steve Jones ran in 18 marathons, winning five, including the 1985 London race

Former world record holder honoured

Steve Jones, 63, awarded an MBE for services to sport, is a former Welsh athlete who set the world record in the marathon, in his first completed race at that distance in Chicago in 1984. He ran 2:08:05 that day.

Jones won Commonwealth Games bronze in 1986 and won the 1988 New York Marathon.

His British marathon record stood for 33 years until Mo Farah beat it in 2018.

Dual-international star recognised

Nigel Walker, 55, is a former Welsh track and field athlete and Wales international rugby union player who is awarded an OBE for services to sport.

Walker represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the 1984 Olympics in the 110 metres hurdles in Los Angeles.

As a rugby player, he played on the wing for Cardiff and made his Wales debut in March 1993 in the Five Nations match against Ireland. He went on to win 17 caps for Wales, scoring 12 tries.

Walker is currently National Director at the English Institute of Sport and is a former head of sport at BBC Wales.

"I'm incredibly proud and honoured and it has come as a great surprise to me," said Walker.

"I'm incredibly lucky to have had a career in not one but two sports, but I've then been able to continue my association with sport in my post-athlete roles and that has been tremendously fulfilling.

"I'd like to thank my family for their unwavering support throughout my career, I certainly couldn't have done it without them.

"Over the years I've worked with so many dedicated, talented and passionate individuals, none more so now than in my current role at the EIS."

Nigel Walker
Nigel Walker joined the English Institute of Sport in September 2010 having previously been Head of Change and Internal Communications at BBC Wales.

Hockey star honoured

Sheila Morrow, the president of GB hockey, receives a OBE for services to hockey in Wales.

A Welsh international from 1967 to 1984, Morrow won 24 caps for GB and was a member of the 1980 and 1984 Olympic squads, captaining the side in 1981 and 1982.

Morrow served as the Sports Council for Wales Development Officer from 1983 to 1991 and from 1991 to her retirement in 2004 she was Sport England's Head of Governing Body Services.

Morrow was awarded life membership of Hockey Wales in May 2019.

Other Welsh New Year's Honours recipients

John Dallimore, 73, from Gwent is awarded an MBE for services to Target Shooting.

He has been involved in the sport for over 50 years, for the first 20 years as an athlete, representing Wales and GB, and thereafter playing a leading voluntary role as Wales Team Manager for over 30 years.

He is also Chair of his local club, Torfaen, which is the most successful club in Wales, winning the Wales and Monmouthshire league on a regular basis and successfully forging links with the wider community and particularly the Schools and Scouts in Wales.

Nicholas Sanders, 61, from Powys, also receives an MBE, for his services to Endurance Cycling and Motorcycling.

Sanders was the first person to undertake endurance motorcycle and cycle rides in the 'against the clock' format and during these attempts recorded and documented the journey for books and film.

In 2005 he completed a world record motorcycle circumnavigation of the world in 19 days and four hours. This after having previously set a world record for cycling around the world (first time taking 138 days and a second time in 79 days), a record which he held from 1981 to 2008. He has ridden around the world seven times.

He is also the current world record holder for circumnavigation for the coast of mainland Britain by bicycle, which he completed in 22 days and he rode a motorcycle the length of the Americas eight times and currently holds the record for a double transit from Alaska to Ushuaia and back which took 46 days.

His journeys have been documented in over 70 television programmes.

John Griffin, 80, from Cardiff, is awarded a BEM for services to running in Wales.

For over 30 years he has been the voluntary organiser behind the Welsh Castles Relay, a running competition held annually that covers 20 stages from Caernarfon in north Wales to Cardiff in the south.

He has been chairman of Les Croupiers running club for 25 years and a regular supporter of running events in south Wales, to date having managed more than 400 events.

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