Sir Brendan Foster knighted by fellow Olympian Anne

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Brendan Foster after receiving a Knight Bachelor during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)
Brendan Foster after receiving a Knight Bachelor during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

Former athlete Sir Brendan Foster has reminisced about his 70s sporting career with fellow 1976 Olympian the Princess Royal as she gave him his knighthood.

The veteran track runner said it was a “real honour” to receive the royal accolade at Windsor Castle where he was reunited with Anne.

The 73-year-old became European champion at 5,000 metres in 1974, and was made BBC Sports Personality the same year.

Sir Brendan Foster chats with Anne (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)
Sir Brendan Foster chats with Anne (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

Sir Brendan, from Hebburn, South Tyneside, went on to win 10,000-metre bronze at the Montreal Olympics, Great Britain’s only track-and-field medal at the event, and took gold at the 1978 Commonwealth Games.

He was knighted for services to international and national sport and to culture in north-east England.

Speaking to the PA news agency at Windsor, he said: “It’s a real honour to be knighted today.

“It was particularly exciting for me to receive it from Princess Anne.

“We go back a long way. We were both on the Olympic team in 1976, we were both BBC Sports Personality of the Year in the 70s.

“It was lovely to see her and it was great to receive the honour from her.”

Millions of people are taking part in mass running events around the world, so that's been the biggest change and that's been the most rewarding

Sir Brendan Foster

Asked what they discussed, he said: “She said I deserve it for what I have done for sport, and not only the number of miles I have run. We go back 50 years, almost.

“She was in the showjumping team in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal and I was on the athletics team.

“She has been a great mover in the Olympic movement, she has been a great member of the Olympic committee and instrumental in bringing the Olympics to London in 2012.

“She has done amazing things both for her sport and for British sport, so she’s a true sporting legend.”

Sir Brendan said his personal sporting highlights were becoming European champion, Commonwealth champion and Olympic medallist in 1976.

The Queen hands the baton for the Commonwealth Games relay to Brendan Foster (PA) (PA Archive)
The Queen hands the baton for the Commonwealth Games relay to Brendan Foster (PA) (PA Archive)

“The sport has come a long way since then, but they would be my athletic highlights, and commentating on the Olympic Games in London in 2012 when Mo Farah won two gold medals,” he said.

“It has changed hugely, because in our day it was an amateur sport. It’s now a professional sport.

“The London Marathon and the Great North Run when I was running didn’t exist, and they are both now pillars of the athletic world.

“More people are doing the sport, millions of people are taking part in mass running events around the world, so that’s been the biggest change and that’s been the most rewarding.”

Away from the track, Foster who has also established himself as a commentator, founded the Great North Run in 1981 – the most attended half-marathon in the world.

Read More

The Power of the Dog review: Give Cumberbatch the Best Actor Oscar now

Leeds gymnast sets six-metre backflip Guinness World Record

Cricket racism crisis leads to ‘frank’ talks between Government and ECB

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting