Calls for Yorks cricket legend to be knighted

Geoffrey Boycott pictured at Rothwell Cricket Club. 29th June 2003
Geoffrey Boycott pictured at Rothwell Cricket Club. 29th June 2003

Politicians have made fresh calls for cricket legend Geoffrey Boycott to receive a knighthood after he was missed off this year’s New Year Honours list.

Home secretary Theresa May is among a group of MPs who have lent their name to the campaign to recognise the Yorkshireman’s contribution to English sport after a bid was turned down.

The Cabinet Office is understood to have vetoed the 74-year-old, who lives in Boston Spa, because of a French court conviction for assaulting a former girlfriend in 1996. The commentator received a three-month suspended sentence for repeatedly punching Margaret Moore.

Honours guidelines do not rule out recognition for those with criminal records if it is not an outstanding issue’.

Selby and Ainsty MP Nigel Adams has led criticism of Whitehall for rejecting this year’s bid, insisting it had widespread support on the Commons floor.

He said: “Already there are many people in Yorkshire who call him Sir Geoff.

“His record and longevity in cricket as a player and commentator is unbeatable.

“He is not only a national treasure but one of the greatest living Yorkshiremen and I would like to think something can be done to recognise his contribution to the world of English sport.”

During his on-field career, Boycott made 48,000 runs, scoring 151 hundreds, for Yorkshire and England.

After retirement he established a reputation as one of the sport’s most outspoken and respected pundits.

He was sacked in the wake of the assault conviction but has since rebuilt his reputation and works as a commentator on BBC radio.

Mr Adams went on to call for tourism boss Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, to receive recognition from the honours system for his role in bringing the Tour de France to British shores.

“I would like to see Gary recognised, ” said the MP this week.

“He put Yorkshire - and the whole country - on the map.”