Search icon


01st Jan 2022

New Year Honours list: Tony Blair and Chris Whitty knighted, David Beckham snubbed

Simon Bland


The former England captain could be in line for a June knighthood

Tony Blair, Professor Chris Whitty and Professor Jonathan Van-Tam have all been named in today’s New Year Honours and will be knighted in 2022 – while football icon David Beckham was left off the list.

The list – which was released earlier today – recognises the two medical chiefs who have helped steer the UK through the pandemic. The pair are now familiar faces due to their presence at the televised Downing Street press briefings.

Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, will also be knighted and appointed to the Order of the Garter – which unlike the rest of the list is a royal appointment.

That particular decision has divided many, with people taking to social media to vent their disapproval.

However there was the odd supporter of  “Sir Tony”:

Sport star Tom Daley – who bagged Olympic gold this summer – has been recognised with an OBE for his services to “diving, LGBTQ+ rights and charity”. While the cyclists, Jason and Laura Kenny, who broke successive records at the Tokyo Olympics, have become the first couple to be honoured with a damehood and knighthood at the same time.

However one sports icon who was noticeably absent from today’s list of accolades was David Beckham. The former England captain was awarded an OBE in 2003 and is widely regarded as a potential ‘Sir-in-waiting’.

It was reported by The Sun that he had been moved to the official recommendations list after a long-running tax issue was resolved.

A June knighthood remains a possibility for the ex-footballer, but there was speculation the resolution would see him fast-tracked to the New Year’s list.

In entertainment, 94-year-old Eastenders star June Brown who played Dot Cotton is awarded an OBE, alongside fellow soap actor Bill Roache who plays Ken Barlow on Coronation Street.

James Bond star Daniel Craig is also to be made made a companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, recognising his services to film and television.

All-in-all, this year’s New Year Honours list contains over 1,200 names – with the full list available to read here.

Related links: