Tony McCoy called it an “unbelievable privilege” as he was awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours in recognition of his incredible racing career.
The 41-year-old from Moneyglass in County Antrim retired from racing in April after being crowned champion jockey for a 20th consecutive year.
He heads a list of high-profile sporting names to be honoured which also includes five-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, two-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome and two members of the England women’s World Cup squad - captain Steph Houghton and team-mate Fara Williams.
McCoy said: “It is an unbelievable privilege and honour to receive a knighthood in the New Year Honours List. I certainly wasn’t expecting it.
“I consider myself lucky to have had a job I loved, every single day. The team around me made it possible for me to achieve my goals and the support from the public and racing community since my retirement has been overwhelming. A knighthood really tops off what’s been a crazy and memorable year.”