Last night King Charles III’s Birthday Honours List was released and rugby league had a good representation.
Four members of England’s Wheelchair Rugby League squad have been recognised following last autumn’s thrilling World Cup triumph – captain Tom Halliwell, who has been awarded the OBE, plus Sebastien Bechara, James Simpson and head coach Tom Coyd, who have been awarded the MBE – while Sue Taylor, the RFL Vice-President and Chair of the British Amateur Rugby League Association, has also been awarded the MBE for her long-term service to the community game.
In addition Jon Dutton, who was Chief Executive of Rugby League World Cup 2021 having previously worked as the RFL’s Director of Projects and People, has been awarded the OBE for his leading role in the delivery of the biggest, best and most inclusive tournament in the sport’s history.
Many were hoping that Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield would finally receive a Knighthood and truly be Sir Kevin Sinfield.
This comes after Sinfield ran seven ultramarathons in a week in 2022 to raise more money in the fight against Motor Neurone Disease inspired by good friend Rob Burrow.
In 2021, he ran 101 miles in 24 hours whilst 2020 saw him run seven marathons in seven days earning an OBE after receiving an MBE for services to rugby league in the past.
He has now raised over £7 million in the fight against MND but still hasn’t received a Knighthood.
This has unsurprisingly disappointed rugby league fans but it has often been suggested that there is a rule not permitting an individual to receive two honours within a five year spell.
Sinfield first received an MBE in 2014 and it wasn’t until seven years later in 2021 when he received his OBE.
If this rule does exist, though it may be an urban legend, it would explain why Sinfield has not yet received a Knighthood and would mean he will have to wait until 2026.
It may not be a rule but rather be an accepted unwritten rule.
Either way, rugby league fans but also everyone who has been inspired by Sinfield has been left frustrated by his omission once again:
Surprised and amazed that Kevin Sinfield has been over looked for a knighthood. Felt certain that the @cabinetofficeuk would have made sure he would have been a recipient.
— Darren (@MerelyDarren) June 16, 2023
Kevin Sinfield got a knighthood yet??
— Popcorn (@PopcornWigster1) June 16, 2023
Still nothing for Kevin sinfield???
— Linda (@lindaloo63) June 16, 2023
— Mike Thomas (@mikeacthomas) June 16, 2023
Why still no Sir Kevin Sinfield?
— KatieCurtis (@KatieCurtis) June 16, 2023
Nothing for Kevin Sinfield??
— always Leeds ⚽ (@1966lufc) June 16, 2023