27th December 2019


Kelly Sotherton has been awarded an MBE for services to track and field and the promotion of women’s sport, while Francis Clement and Harold Binyon are awarded British Empire Medals for their services to the sport.

The Olympic heptathlon bronze medallist from Athens in 2004 double Beijing in 2008 bronze medallist in the heptathlon and 4x400m, both of which were awarded retrospectively, joins an illustrious list of sports stars to be honoured by her majesty the Queen.

Sotherton’s international athletics career began in 2002 when she made her senior British debut at the Indoor Combined Events Championships in Spain, before going on to win a bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Sotherton was retrospectively awarded bronze medals from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in the heptathlon and the 4x400m relay, medals which she was awarded last year at the Müller Anniversary Games for the latter and the Team GB ball for the former.

More recently, Sotherton has become a member of the British Athletics teams that went to the European Junior Championships in Boras, Sweden, and the team bronze medal winning multi-events team from the European Athletics Combined Events Super League in Ukraine, the first medal Britain has ever won at the event.

At the European Juniors, she oversaw Holly Mills claim fourth place in the women’s heptathlon, with Mills, Joel McFarlane, Amaya Scott-Rule and Olivia Dobson among those to benefit from her experience.

She has also turned her hand to coaching athletes, with 400m hurdler Amy Hillyard now under her wing.

Robert Smith, an IPC European medallist from the 2014 championships in Swansea, has been awarded an MBE for services to international trade and People with Disabilities for his work as Director of Active Hands Company Limited which makes gripping aids for those with hand function weakness.

British Empire Medals, awarded for the “hands on” service to the local community, went the way of Binyon and Clement for their services to athletics in the United Kingdom.

Clement, a former Olympic Games 1500m finalist at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal and Commonwealth Games fourth placer in 1978 in Edmonton, worked for 26 years for Glasgow City Council, where he was the race director of the Glasgow Women’s 10,000m.

He receives his honour for services to athletics in Scotland.

Binyon has been honoured for his role at Crook Athletics Club, and for his work with the Fire Fighters’ Charity in the North East of the country.