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ALL HAIL OUR HEROES; Golden girl Ellie is joined by tireless fundraisers, volunteers and carers in New Year roll of honours.

Byline: Katy Hallam STAFF REPORTER

GOLDEN girl Ellie Simmonds will end a record-breaking year with her second royal title after being awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours.

The Walsall-born swimmer, 18, became a national hero at the London Paralympics as she won two golds, a silver and a bronze medal.

The 4ft 1ins superstar already has four gold medals, four world records and an MBE under her belt and will now add an OBE to her list of extensive triumphs.

A delighted Ellie said yesterday: "It's been a great honour to be included in the list which caps an amazing year for me personally and for British sport."

The honours list will put the seal on an amazing 2013 for other well-known names across Birmingham.

Kim Douglas, from Perry Barr, will be honoured with a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her tireless charity work after setting up the George Coller Memorial Fund in memory of her son. He died suddenly at the age of three in 1996 following an asthma attack in school.

The charity has since funded specialist asthma nurses in schools across the city and Birmingham Children's Hospital. Kim, 53, said: "I feel so humble and just hope I can live up to the honou r.

"It brought a tear to my eye because my son never got the chance to be fruitful in his life, but now he has in death.

"I absolutely love the Queen, so on a personal level it is just wonderful."

The mantelpiece in Anthony and Muriel Hiles' Wolverhampton home is crammed full of Christmas cards from dozens of the foster children they have devoted the last 18 years of their lives to.

But they will soon be making space for their latest proud achievement - two MBEs.

The couple, who have been married for 20 years, were picked for the special honour as they have been foster carers since 1994 - a role that has seen them caring for severely disabled children under the Barnardo's Sandcastle Project.

Muriel, 62, said: "Anthony showed me his letter first and I was telling him how much he deserved it - and then he said there was one waiting for me and I started skipping around!

"The whole 18 years has been an amazing journey."

David Francis Corbett, a swimming stalwart from Sutton Cold-field, has also spring-boarded onto the list, despite not actually mastering the art of the sport himself until he was 32.

Now 72, he has "the smell of chlorine in his veins" after devoting more than 30 years to swimming in the West Midlands. It is a role that has seen him offi-ciate at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and star as a technical director at the International School Games in Coventry in 2007.

"I was honoured and humbled, but also I am conscious that there are a lot of other people who are just as deserving," said David, who is also receiving a BEM.

The father-of-two started volunteering when his daughter Joanna joined a scheme for gifted swimmers and he now helps train the next generation of potential pool stars at Birmingham Swimming Club.

Celebrations are also starting at Birmingham Women's Hospital after fertility pioneer Dr Jackson Kirkman-Brown was handed an MBE.

The University of Birmingham researcher works closely with military casualties at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM), based at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QE).

Dr Kirkman-Brown said: "It is a credit to the entire team at the Women's, QE, RCDM and the university that our work has been recognised in this way.

"We look forward to the first child being born as a result of our work, which is due in early 2013."

Inspector Phil Shakesheff, of West Mercia Police, has been awarded the Queen's Police Medal for his 32 years' service helping find missing children.

He said: "I am pleased that I have been able to make a difference in keeping vulnerable missing people safe.'' Sir Bradley and Sir Ben lead sporting stars BRADLEY Wiggins, who made sporting history by winning the Tour de France and an Olympic gold, is knighted in the New Year Honours.

Sir Bradley heads a sparkling list of sporting heroes, including sailor Ben Ainslie, who gets a knighthood, paracyclist Sarah Storey, who is made a dame, and Jess Ennis, Victoria Pendleton, Mo Farah and David Weir, who all get CBEs.

Affectionately known as Wiggo, the first British winner of the the Tour said: "I never ever imagined that I would ever become a knight so it's an incredible honour.

"But there's a slight element of disbelief and it will take a while to sink in.

"It's not something I'll use on a daily basis, but it's nice to have in the trophy cabinet as the ultimate accolade as a sportsman."

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year added: "There was never any doubt whether I'd accept it or not, it was more a case that I never saw myself as a sir, and I probably never will."

The galaxy of sporting stars who achieved so much during London 2012 meant that a special honours list was added this year.

But there was also recognition for the people who made the Games such a success, from Lord Coe, who becomes a Companion of Honour (CH), to Jean Tomlin, who was in charge of the Games Maker programme and gets an OBE.

Away from sport, the Companion of Honour also goes to Professor Peter Higgs, the namesake of the Higgs boson, or so-called "God particle", which was finally proved to exist in July, 48 years after he first proposed it.

The main list includes a knighthood for illustrator Quentin Blake and CBEs for artist Tracey Emin, choreographer and former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips and singer/songwriter Kate Bush.

Actor Ewan McGregor and fashion designer Stella McCartney get OBEs, while ex-England cricketer Mark Ramprakash gets an MBE.

Tony Blair's wife Cherie Blair is given a CBE in recognition of her service to women's issues and to charity both in the UK and overseas.

A CBE also goes to UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox, as well as actor-turned-politician Michael Cashman, West Midlands MEP, best known for his role as Colin Russell in EastEnders.

A total of 1,223 people were recommended to the Queen for an award.

Women make up 47% of the total list, which includes 13 dames.

Dame Sarah, 35, is honoured for services to para-cycling after winning four gold medals at London 2012. She said: "Wow, I am speechless but incredibly honoured and extremely proud."

One notable name missing from the roll is Danny Boyle, who created the epic Olympic opening ceremony.

The Trainspotting director is believed to have turned down an honour.

Top officer is honoured A TOP police officer who played a key role in policing the Birmingham riots was named in the New Year Honours List.

Chief Superintendent Surjeet Manku, 51, head of the Birmingham East Local Policing Unit, was awarded the Queen's Police Medal for his distinguished public service.

The officer, who rose through the ranks after joining the force in 1984, is credited with revolutionising the way West Midlands Police develops policies and plans operations.

"My parents, who are devout Sikhs, instilled a sense of duty and service in me, so it was only natural I would end up joining the police or doing something else trying to help others," he said.

The top cop was told about the honour in a letter from Buckingham Palace in November.

"I couldn't believe it when I got the letter," he said.

"When I told my wife she was so proud and is now looking forward to visiting the palace."

CAPTION(S):

Knights: Bradley Wiggins and Ben Ainslie.

Kim Douglas set up the George Coller Memorial Fund in memory of her son, below.

Devoted: Anthony and Muriel Hiles have fostered dozens of children, many of them severely disabled, over the last 18 years.

Unsung heroes: David Corbett is a swimming stalwart while Dr Jackson Kirkman-Brown is a fertility pioneer.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 29, 2012
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