It was announced shortly after New Year that John Surtees, the only person to win world championships on both four and two wheels, has been awarded a CBE in Britain’s New Year’s Honours list.
The Order of the British Empire “recognises distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public services outside the Civil Service and work with charitable and welfare organisations of all kinds”.
After being made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in 2008, the 81-year-old has now been honoured with the more senior rank of Commander of the British Empire. He was previously made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 1959.
The award recognises not only achievements as a competitor, but also his ongoing involvement in motorsport and charity work through the Henry Surtees Foundation, named in honour of his son, who tragically lost his life in a Formula 2 crash at Brands Hatch in 2009.
The foundation provides vital support for those who have suffered injuries in accidents.
Motorsport fans have long lobbied for Surtees to be awarded a knighthood for his achievements, although Surtees himself has downplayed his chances when asked about the possibility. But all I can say is congratulations to John, it is very well deserved and it is about time that he has been selected for everything he has achieved in his career and also what he has achieved afterwards too.