JJ Williams awarded MBE
December 29, 2012
JJ Williams won 30 caps for Wales during his playing career and a further seven for the Lions © Getty Images
Former Wales winger JJ Williams has expressed his delight at being awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list.
The 64-year-old, who won 30 caps for his country between 1973 and 1979 - winning two Grand Slams - and made a further seven Test appearances for the Lions on their tours to South Africa in 1974 and New Zealand in 1977, is recognised for his services to rugby and to charity.
Williams, who was also part of the Llanelli side that wrote itself into Welsh rugby history by defeating the all-conquering New Zealand All Blacks 9-3 at Stradey Park 40 years ago, Press Association Sport: "Receiving the MBE is right up there with all the things I achieved during my playing career. It is very special and I was tremendously excited when I found out I would receive the honour.
"A lot of the players I played with in the 1970s received honours at the time and I thought maybe my chance had gone. But to have received this honour later in my life means I will cherish it that little bit more and it is very, very special for me and my family."
Williams also helped set up the Welsh Rugby International Players Benevolent Association, to assist those who struggled after their playing careers had finished, something he has found to be rewarding.
He added: "I am particularly pleased that the charity work I have done is also a part of this, and I hope it has played a big part in it because it is something that is very important to me.
"The setting up of the Welsh Rugby International Players Benevolent Association has helped a lot of players who have suffered illness or injury in later life, and it is help that was needed as it was an amateur game when they played. I enjoy my charity work, I was fortunate to be given a good life through sport and I think it is right to give something back."
Debbie Jevans, who recently became the chief executive of World Cup organisers England Rugby 2015, has also been awarded a CBE for her work as director of sport for London 2012. A pivotal member of the team responsible for delivering the highly-successful Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as the Games-wide medical and anti-doping programmes, has now been charged with ensuring rugby's next showpiece event hits those same heights.
The man who as chief executive of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) had overall responsibility for delivering the biggest most successful sporting event ever staged in Britain, who has also been recruited to the England Rugby 2015 management board, Lord Deighton has been awarded the Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Deighton, whose award is in addition to the peerage he received ahead of joining the Government as a Treasury minister, spearheaded London 20212's campaign to raise £2 billion from the private sector to stage the Games.
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