MBEs for Bayley and Davies
Paralympic table tennis gold medallists Will Bayley and Rob Davies have received MBEs in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.
Kent athlete Bayley won the Class 7 Singles title in Rio, while Welshman Davies was on the top step of the podium in Class 1.
Both are made Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to table tennis.
They join a host of Rio heroes on the annual list, headed by athlete Mo Farah, tennis star Andy Murray and Paralympic dressage rider Lee Pearson, who are knighted.
Heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill and rowing great Katherine Grainger receive damehoods.
Bayley, 28, from Tunbridge Wells, said:
“I’m so delighted to be given an MBE. It is a huge honour and means so much to me. I’m proud every day to represent Great Britain and I feel privileged to have been able to represent my country in three Paralympic Games already.
“I’m still hungry for more medals and my long term goal is retaining my title in Tokyo 2020 where I will hopefully be at my peak.
“I would like to say thanks my coach Gorazd Vecko and to all my GB team-mates and support staff; without them I would not be the player I am today. Thanks also to Gary Howes at Byng Hall – my first table tennis club – and to all my sponsors and supporters over the last 10 years who have believed in me and have made it possible for me to compete at this level. I hope to continue to repay your trust and belief in the years to come.
“I couldn’t have achieved anything without the support of my family – my mum, step-dad and my brother – the amazing team at Great Ormond Street Hospital and a dear family friend Linda Slade, who sadly passed away last year and did so much to help me.”
Davies, 32, said:
“I feel absolutely ecstatic that I’ve been named in this year’s honours list to receive an MBE. My face just lit up when I read the letter – I was just so overwhelmed and happy. I just couldn’t believe it!
“I feel so privileged and proud and would just like to thank everybody who’s been part of this amazing journey I’ve been on. I can’t wait to make 2017 special!”