Banbridge sporting star Rory Best has had a dream week after being recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours and captaining the ions last night (Tuesday).
Rory was awarded the OBE, and has dedicated his award to the people who helped him achieve so much in sport.
“I’m just so surprised and humbled, it’s such a massive honour,” Best told Press Association Sport.
“To be recognised for contributing to a sport, for someone to feel I’m worthy of being nominated, and then to be deemed worthy, it’s quite incredible.
“My parents were obviously delighted. My mum and dad actually both have MBEs, my dad for agriculture and my mum for services to the public sector.
“So it was quite funny telling them I’d gone one better than them!
“I’ll always refer back to Banbridge Rugby Club but there are so many people to thank for their help along the way that I couldn’t even begin to name them.
“And it always comes back to mum, dad, my brothers and sisters, and my wife and children.”
Other locals named in the honours include: Mr. Ralph Bauer, best known as Chair of the Franklin Group, who was awarded an MBE For services to Textiles Manufacturing in Northern Ireland.
Franklins have a reputation for manufacturing and supplying a wide range of quality products including woven badges, embroidered badges (also known as sewn on patches, cloth badges, badges patches, woven patches, or sew on badges), woven labels, printed labels, epaulettes, armbands, embroidered T-shirts, and other custom clothing throughout the UK and Ireland. Mr Bauer was first appointed Non Executive Chairman of the company on 5 April 1976. He is also involved in Fergusons and other local businesses.
Alicia Hamilton, nee Dickson was awarded the BEM For services to the community in Northern Ireland.
Mrs Hamilton is heavily involved in the Orange Order and in pipe band circles.
She is a member of Matt Boyd Memorial Pipe Band in County Tyrone.
Alicia started drum majoring in the Corbet Accordion Band and is still an active member.
Over the years of competing her highlights have included; winning the senior world champion title and being only the third female to achieve this.
She has also been British champion Ulster Champion and Champion of Champions.