Footballers, academics and business people recognised in New Year Honours

A university principal, footballers and an artist are among those recognised in the New Year Honours list.

Professor Peter Mathieson, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, is knighted for services to higher education, while two others with Scottish links receive knighthoods and three become dames.

Anita Frew, the first female chairwoman in Rolls-Royce’s history and one of only 18 women leading boards among Britain’s biggest listed companies, is given a damehood for services to business and the economy.

The Scottish businesswoman said: “It is a great privilege to be recognised in this way.

Peter Mathieson
University of Edinburgh principal Professor Peter Mathieson has been knighted (University of Edinburgh/PA)

“I’m sure that if anyone had told me, as a young girl growing up in Scotland with a father and a grandfather who worked at Rolls-Royce, that one day not only would I chair that company but would have the honour to be made a dame, I would not have believed it.”

Dr Julie Maxton, executive director of the Royal Society and originally from Edinburgh, receives a damehood for services to science and to the law, while Professor Heather McGregor, provost and vice-principal of Heriot-Watt University, Dubai, receives a damehood for services to education, business and heritage in Scotland.

Professor Sir Peter said he is “honoured and flattered” to receive the knighthood.

He said: “I do see it as recognition of the standing of the university. I’m privileged to lead one of the world’s great universities and we’ve got a quarter of a million alumni around the world and almost 50,000 students.

“I feel there’s a big community and I think it’s a recognition of the standing of the university in society within the world and I’m very proud of the university, proud to be its principal.”

Andy Robertson
Andy Robertson has been made an MBE (Brian Lawless/PA)

William Robertson, who founded Robertson Group in Elgin, Moray, in 1966 and is executive chairman of the company, is knighted for services to the construction industry and to charity in Scotland, while Norman Keith Skeoch, previously chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen, receives a knighthood for services to the financial sector.

From the field of sport, Scottish footballers Kim Little and Jen Beattie are made MBEs, as is Scotland captain and Liverpool player Andy Robertson, who is from Glasgow.

Scotland and Arsenal player Beattie is made an MBE for services to association football and to charity, while Arsenal player Little, Scotland’s vice-captain at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, is honoured for services to association football.

Robertson is recognised for services to association football, charity and young people.

Ian Reid of Kilmacolm, Inverclyde, who was chief executive of the organising committee of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, is made a CBE for services to sport.

Dame Anita Frew
Rolls-Royce chairwoman Anita Frew has been made a dame (Rolls-Royce/PA)

Many people involved in the arts are also honoured in the list, including David Sutherland, illustrator of The Beano, who becomes an OBE for services to illustration.

Andrew Crummy, the artist behind the Great Tapestry of Scotland, has been made an MBE for services to art and cultural heritage.

Mr Crummy has worked on a number of large-scale public projects, including designing a 143-metre (469ft) long tapestry which tells the history of Scotland.

The 63-year-old, of East Lothian, said it was an “honour” to be given the rank and to have worked with people on the various projects he has been involved with.

Two people who helped save one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s historic tea rooms in Glasgow have also been made MBEs.

Celia Sinclair Thornqvist, founder and patron of The Willow Tea Rooms Trust, and Professor Pamela Robertson have both been honoured in recognition of their work helping to restore the Scottish architect’s original Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street.

Honours by gender
(PA Graphics)

Others recognised include Professor David Crossman, former chief scientist (health) to the Scottish Government who is made a CBE for services to public health in Scotland, while Stuart Liddell, pipe major of Inveraray and District Pipe Band, is made an MBE for services to piping and music education.

School crossing patrol attendant Joyce Murray, 79, from East Dunbartonshire, receives the British Empire Medal for service to the Boys’ Brigade and to the community in Glasgow.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Those recognised in the New Year Honours list have made exceptional contributions to communities across Scotland and beyond. These honours are particularly poignant as they are the first to be awarded since the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, who reigned for over 70 years.

“The service and dedication of our successes, from the arts, education and sport to business, charity, community cohesion and science, has helped to promote Scotland all over the world and benefited people throughout society.”

Dame Julie Maxton
Dame Julie Maxton has been honoured by the King (Royal Society/PA)

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said this year’s New Year Honours list underlines the “outstanding contributions made by Scots to the life of the nation”.

He added: “It’s great to see recognition of our men’s football captain Andy Robertson, not just for his efforts on the pitch but for his work with young people.

“The UK’s Scottish Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Christine Middlemiss has been deservedly honoured for her work on behalf of the veterinary and farming industries, as has Dr Julie Maxton, the first female executive director of the Royal Society in its history of over 350 years.”

Others honoured include James McEwan from Islay, four times master distiller of the year and inductee to the Whisky Hall of Fame, who is made an MBE.

British Empire Medals go to Lucy Lintott, 28, from Moray, who has motor neurone disease and is honoured for her campaigning and fundraising to tackle the condition, and Sinclair Barbour, from Thornhill in Dumfries and Galloway, who for more than four decades has inspired people to participate in and learn the skills of Scottish country dancing.