Suffolk/Essex honours: Former Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks heads the region’s New Year’s Honours list
FORMER Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks heads the list of East Anglia’s names recognised in the Queen’s New Year honours list.
His name tops the Suffolk list of honours which range from a CBE to a clutch of BEMs – newly reintroduced by the current government.
He joins a list of famous figures being recognised, including Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins, who has been knighted.
Other honours have been given to sailor Ben Ainslie, paracyclist Sarah Storey, athlete Jessica Ennis, physicist Professor Peter Higgs, and artist Tracey Emin.
Mr Sheepshanks is awarded the CBE for services to football – specifically for overseeing the building of the National Football Centre near Burton-upon-Trent, St George’s Park, which was opened in October by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
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His citation also notes his work for charity in his home county – he is chairman of the trustees of the Suffolk Foundation.
Mr Sheepshanks was chairman of Ipswich Town for 13 years, from 1995 to 2008. During his tenure the club was promoted to the Premiership after its unforgettable victory at the old Wembley stadium – and returned to Europe for the first time in 18 years.
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He also masterminded the redevelopment of Portman Road with the construction of the new north and south stands.
He said: “I feel both honoured and proud. I am fortunate to have worked with brilliant people both in the football and here in the charitable work in Suffolk.”
Mr Sheepshanks felt the honour was recognition for the teams of staff he had worked with.
“St George’s Park took a great deal of planning and development. We have now got it open – but there is still much to be done before it reaches its true potential.
“So far as the Suffolk Foundation is concerned, we set up a steering committee nine or ten years ago and it has only been in operation seven and half years – however thanks to (chief executive) Stephen Singleton and the wonderful staff it has gone from strength to strength and is now a key part of the county’s life.”
The EADT has been working with the Suffolk Foundation to raise �50,000 so far for the Surviving Winter appeal.
Mr Sheepshanks added: “I must thank my wife Mona and children Tom and Sophie and all my family and friends – I could not have done this work without their support.”
In north Essex, inspirational community stalwart Allan Millam, 71, has been awarded an MBE for his work at Braintree’s The Tabor Centre, which helps people with severe disabilities.
Reacting to the news, he said: “I could not take it in to be quite honest. I have done everything because I think it’s right – I never did it to get an award. I just feel sad my wife is not around to see it.”
Youth worker Adrian Killick from Clacton has also been awarded an MBE for helping thousands of children in his local community.
Four people in north Essex have been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM), which was reintroduced in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours to “recognise the dedication and hard work so many provide to their communities”.
They are; Valerie Ahern for services to tenant empowerment in Witham, Dawn Bracken for services to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Jill Jacqueline Earney for services to the community in Hatfield Peverel and Daphne Edna Field for services to charity and to the community in Chelmsford.
A group of nine people in Suffolk have been awarded the BEM, which was reintroduced in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours to “recognise the dedication and hard work so many provide to their communities”.
Those in Suffolk who have been awarded the BEMs are; Leslie Ager for services to music in Haverhill, Michael Ames for services to the community in Bury St Edmunds, Robert Clinton from Newmarket for services to Veterans Aid, Jane Elizabeth Gemmill for services to the community in Stradbroke, Keith Haisman. chairman of governors and chair of finance and premises at Stour Valley Community School, Clare, for services to education, Susan Harrison for services to Independent Community Cinema in Aldeburgh, Muriel Healey from Haverhill. board member at Havebury Housing Partnership for services to tenants in Suffolk, David Nicholson from Eye, manager HMP and Young Offenders Institute, Norwich for services to the rehabilitation of prisoners, and Peter Taylor for services to the community and to charity in Ipswich.
Mr Clinton, 71, who lives in Stradishall, near Newmarket, has been honorary treasurer and trustee of Veterans Aid for the last six years, providing the financial advice and guidance that has sustained it through recession.
He said: “It has been a great privilege to have been associated with Veterans Aid over the last six or so years and I am most honoured to receive this award, which I consider is as much for the great team running the charity as it is for myself.”
Mrs Gemmill, 68, of New Street, Stradbroke, near Eye, has worked tirelessly with several groups and organisations in her 36 years in the village.
She said: “I like helping people as much as I can and I have met a lot of people and I have made a lot of friends.”
Senior Conservative Ian Dowling from Cockfield near Bury St Edmunds is awarded the MBE for his political service over many years.
A former chairman of the East of England voluntary party, before the last general election he headed a party panel that drew up a list of approved parliamentary candidates from which constituencies could select.
He said: “We were a panel of MPs and members of the voluntary party which worked to ensure we had candidates of the right calibre before the election.
“It is gratifying to see the work of the voluntary party recognised in this way.”
Mr Dowling is a retired civil engineer, and his political experience came in useful during negotiations with government bodies on major projects.
“It was a surprise to get the letter – but I am absolutely delighted by this,” he added.
Another honour goes to the Recorder of London, Judge Peter Beaumont, who is due to retire in February after nearly nine years as the senior judge at the Old Bailey and now lives at Orford on the Suffolk coast.
Judge Beaumont is a former governor of Felsted School in Essex and is awarded the CBE for services to the administration of justice.