Former Huddersfield Town star Denis Law heads up the list of local New Year’s Honours winners.
The former footballer has been given a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the New Year’s Honours list.
An OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) goes to Gillian Robinson, executive headteacher at Castle Hill School in Newsome for services to children with special educational needs and disabilities.
MBEs (Member of the Order of the British Empire) go to Colin Blair, director of estates and facilities at Huddersfield University for services to higher education and the community in Huddersfield; Dr Nisreen Hanna Booya. formerly medical director of the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for services to healthcare particularly mental health; Mrs Eva Lambert for services to sport, education and health in the community in Huddersfield and David Peck, chairman of governors at Ravenscliffe High School and Sports College in Skircoat Green in Halifax for services to education.
A BEM (British Empire Medal) goes to Mrs Gaynor Ellen Mary Clegg. senior lunchtime supervisor at Ravensthorpe Church of England (Controlled) Junior School in Dewsbury for services to education.
The Queen’s Fire Service Medal goes to David Roger Walton. Assistant chief Fire Officer West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
More on some of the recipients will be added to our website during the day.
Denis, 75, played for Manchester United between 1962 and 1973, winning two league titles with the club in 1965 and 1967 and the FA Cup in 1963 as one third of the club’s ‘Holy Trinity’ alongside fellow stars Sir Bobby Charlton and the late George Best.
He played for Town between 1956 and 1960 and former team-mate Kevin McHale, 76, of Magdale said: “I was an outside right and Denis was an inside right and we were the youngest wing pair ever to play in the football league. He has done very well for himself and I am very pleased he has received this honour. I don’t see him very often nowadays – the last time I saw him was at a funeral several years ago. We were the best of mates – everyone got on very well down there.”
Denis was named European Footballer of the Year in 1964 but was ruled out by injury for the European Cup final in 1968 which United won by beating Benfica 4-1 at Wembley.
He also won 55 senior caps for Scotland, scoring a joint record 30 goals ... and will never forget his first call-up while playing for Huddersfield Town.
“There was a bloke selling the local newspaper, the Huddersfield Examiner,” he recalled. “Matter of factly, he told me I had been picked by Scotland.
“I could hardly believe it. It almost took my breath away. As far as I am concerned, there is no higher honour than representing your country. It would be fair to say I was absolutely overjoyed.”
Denis’ football career began at Huddersfield Town when they were in the Second Division in 1956. After four years at Huddersfield he was signed by Manchester City for a transfer fee of £55,000, which set a new British record.
Denis spent one year there before Torino bought him for £110,000, this time setting a new record fee for a transfer between an English and an Italian club. Although he played well in Italy, he found it difficult to settle there and signed for Manchester United in 1962, setting another British record transfer fee of £115,000.
He scored 237 goals for United, and is joint second in the club’s all-time scoring list behind his old team-mate Charlton after Wayne Rooney equalled Denis’ tally in November.
Denis rounded off his career by representing Scotland at the 1974 World Cup in West Germany.
His CBE award is also in recognition for his charity work. Denis has been a fundraiser for Cancer Research UK and is a patron for the Meningitis Now charity. He successfully recovered from prostate cancer himself in 2003.