Andy Murray and Mo Farah’s sporting prowess has been rewarded in the Queen’s New Year Honours list, with both of Britain’s global superstars receiving knighthoods. After a breath-taking twelve months of sporting action including the Rio Olympics, there were also damehoods for rower Katherine Grainger and the recently retired heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Too early to be knighted?

There were many observers (including Murray himself) who had questioned whether a sportsman who is still at the top of his game should become a ‘Sir’, yet the world number one is a shining example of sporting greatness.

As 2016 draws to a close, he can reflect on a staggering year that has seen the Scot claim a second Wimbledon title and repeat his Olympic singles success.

A big honour for the tennis star

Although the sporting great still obviously feels more comfortable to be referred to as (just) ‘Andy Murray’, he did comment that “it's obviously a big honour and happy with that, a nice way to finish or start the New Year.”

Back to back Olympic success for Farah

Farah backed up his London 2012 heroics with further glory in Rio in the summer. Back to back long distance Olympic golds in the 5k and 10k events confirmed his dominance on the track. The Somalian-born 33-year-old has come a long way since arriving in the UK as an eight-year-old from the war-torn country.

His now famous ‘Mobot’ celebration – with a nod to Clare Balding for the idea – has become a familiar feature, as the track star enters the twilight of his career.

‘Dream come true’

Upon hearing the news, a clearly delighted Farah no doubt echoed the thoughts of many former recipients of the ultimate honour by saying that it was a “dream come true.”

Mr and Mrs Kenny made CBEs

Newly married cycling champions Jason and Laura Kenny shared the bragging rights in their household, as both became CBEs.

The king and queen of the British track team have already amassed an amazing 10 Olympic gold medals between them, with the potential to add to their tally in 2020.

Paralympians recognised

Paralympic excellence has also been recognised as 11-time gold medallist, dressage rider Lee Pearson was knighted. Fellow Paralympians, swimmer Sascha Kindred and equestrian champion Sophie Christiansen were made CBEs, reflecting the inspiration that they provide to those with disabilities in sport.

Historic feat remembered

One of the most memorable feats in athletics was achieved by a sporting legend on the Iffley Road track in Oxford back in 1954. The man who cracked the four-minute barrier for the mile on that historic occasion, Sir Roger Bannister, was further honoured by becoming a Companion of Honour.