Friday, 1 January 2010


The 2009 New Year Honours List saw a good selection of people receiving well-deserved honours. Nice to see Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo get their OBE's. They are often knocked by the sniffy music press for their lack of musical ability and managing to stretch 3 strings only across all their records, but they've had a 40 year career and can still pack them in at their gigs. In sport Jensen Button got an MBE, Ross Brawn got an OBE and world champion gymnast Beth Tweddle got an MBE.

Three things about this years New Year Honours List which really made me smile...
Bruce Forsyth was again ignored for a knighthood.
Claire Bertschinger was made a dame for her services to international humanitarianism aid and nursing. She was the nurse working in Ethiopia making life and death decisions on having to choose which starving children to feed. Her unbearable situation inspired Bob Geldof to create the 1985 Live Aid concert to help raise money for famine victims.
Thirdly, the great Jimmy Armfield received a CBE. Jimmy played all his career at the mighty Blackpool FC and captained England on numerous occasions. He was also in the 1966 World Cup winning squad. Since retiring from football and brief managerial spells at Bolton and Leeds Utd, Jimmy has become well-known as a knowledgeable football pundit on BBC Radio Five Live. He has also come through his own battle with throat cancer with the dignity and fortitude associated with this gentleman. I have met Jimmy Armfield on numerous occasions through his association as a Regional Director with Age Concern. Each year, Age Concern have a christmas party and dance for the town's old folk held at Blackpool's famous and beautiful Tower Ballroom. It's a fantastic occasion and Jimmy Armfield is an exceptional patron who is a well-respected and eloquent voice for the town's older generation.

So many times we see bankers, MP's, acting luvvies, showbiz people and heads of corporate industry receive honours and awards. They are generally very well financially rewarded for plying their various trades and you have to wonder sometimes whether receiving a knighthood, a CBE etc is fully deserved.

So, I shall say a big congratulations to Jimmy Armfield CBE, Dame Claire Bertschinger and all the other worthy winners. Bad luck Brucie, there's always next year....

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