Athletics stalwarts recognised in New Year’s honours list

AW photographer Mark Shearman and former world 10,000m record-holder David Bedford among those to receive awards

Mark Shearman

Athletics Weekly‘s long-time photographer Mark Shearman has been rewarded for his services to sports photography by being made an MBE in the New Year’s honours list.

A veteran of 13 Olympics and the official photographer for UK Athletics, the 70-year-old from Purley had the first of almost 1000 front-cover shots for AW back in 1962.

For more than half a century his images have captured the most iconic moments in track and field. Such is the quantity and quality of his archive, Practical Photography magazine ran a feature on him spanning seven pages a couple of years ago and now his exploits have been met with royal approval.

“I am delighted and proud to have been named in the New Year honours list to receive an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen for services to sports photography,” he said.

AW editor Jason Henderson added: “If we ask Mark for a picture of somebody, it’s highly unusual for him not to have one. Not only does he have the skill and experience to know how to consistently get great photos of an athlete moving at high speed, but he’s also ultra-organised during the countless hours he spends sorting out images away from the track.

“Mark has literally been an ever-present at the top British and international athletics meetings for many years and the New Year honour is thoroughly well deserved. When he finally hangs up his camera, he will be sorely missed.”

Also receiving recognition is David Bedford, the former world 10,000m record-holder and London Marathon director, who has been made an OBE.

“I had an exciting and eventful athletics career,” commented Bedford, who ran 27:30.80 for 10,000m in 1973. “But I’m more proud to be part of an incredible event whose fundraising has totalled over half a billion pounds for charitable causes since its inception and attracts the world’s best distance runners to London each year.”

Having been race director of the London Marathon until he recently stepped aside to focus on assembling the elite field, the 64-year-old receives the honour in recognition of his services to athletics and charitable fundraising.

In total 1195 people were named in the 2014 New Year’s honours list announced on Monday, with 4% of awards going to those in the world of sport.

Also receiving an OBE is Shona Malcolm, a disability athletics development officer from Clackmannanshire, who is recognised for services to the sport. A coach for more than 20 years, Malcolm has also officiated at the Olympics and World Championships.

Norman Brook, former head of endurance at UK Athletics, is made an MBE for services to social development through sport, particularly in South Africa. Currently programme manager at Coaching for Hope, a programme which uses football to create better futures for young people in West and Southern Africa, Brook began his sporting career in 1982 when he was appointed as a British national athletics coach. As well as his position at UKA, Brook has also worked with the Sports Council for Northern Ireland and the British Triathlon Federation.

Mike Dooling, former English Schools Athletics Association chairman, is also awarded an MBE, the long-time member of Liverpool Harriers having been an athlete, administrator, team manager and official. Meanwhile, John Roberts receives an MBE for services to athletics in Shropshire.

» You can find the full New Year’s honours list here

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