Footballer Rashford honoured for school meals campaign

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, Britain - September 26, 2020 Manchester United's Marcus Rashford during the warm up before the match Pool via REUTERS/Glyn Kirk

LONDON (Reuters) - Footballer Marcus Rashford is among those to receive awards in Queen Elizabeth's birthday honours, an annual list dominated this year by frontline workers against the COVID-19 pandemic and community champions.

The 22-year-old Manchester United and England forward who successfully campaigned to extend free school meals this summer, receives an MBE for services to vulnerable children during the pandemic.

Body Coach Joe Wicks and Mr Motivator (Derrick Evans) also receive MBEs for their live workouts to encourage people to stay physically fit during lockdown.

Among other awards, "Poirot" actor David Suchet is knighted and there are damehoods for food writer and broadcaster Mary Berry and actress Maureen Lipman.

CBEs go to physicist Professor Brian Cox, TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, actor Adrian Lester and singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading.

In sport, Welsh former rugby player Gareth Thomas receives a CBE and cricketer Darren Gough is awarded an MBE.

"Of those who have been awarded, 72% go to those who have worked tirelessly for their local community," the Cabinet Office said in a statement.

"This reflects the huge voluntary effort across the country in response to COVID-19, with recipients cumulatively supplying millions of free meals to those shielding, delivering care packages to (health service) frontline workers and clocking up countless voluntary hours to support those at risk."

In the British honours system, MBE stands for Member of the Order of the British Empire. It is outranked by the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) and by the top award, the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire).

(Reporting by Stephen Addison; editing by Andrew MacAskill)

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