Dougie Lampkin’s 10 world trials titles have finally earned public recognition. He has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours.
The accolade enters him in an exclusive biking hall of fame which includes Mike Hailwood, Joey Dunlop and Carl Fogarty.
Lampkin told MCN: " I couldn’t believe it when I got the call. I don’t get a lot of recognition for what I do – for three years now I haven’t been invited to the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year – so this is really welcome.
" I never thought I would be handed such an honour, but I hope it helps to promote the sport. It feels like I’ve been on local telly non-stop since it was announced, so more people know who I am and what I do. I hope that continues. "
Lampkin was sworn to secrecy after being asked if he would accept the honour. He said: " I had a letter two months ago saying the Prime Minister had forwarded my name to the Queen and asking if I would accept it. Obviously, I ticked ‘yes’! "
Lampkin wasn’t the only rider to pick up an honour. Roy Pratt, founder of the Honda Imps junior bike display team, also collected an MBE.
The 60-year-old from Heybridge, in Essex, set up the Imps in 1971 as a way of channelling the surplus energy of inner-city kids, many of whom were inspired by Evel Knievel.
He said: " The MBE came as a shock. I had a letter about five months ago saying I’d been nominated, but I forgot all about it. When the BBC rang for an interview, I told them they had the wrong number! It’s nice to get something for motorcycling as it gets a lot of bad press. Bikes can be very effective tools when working with disaffected young people. "
Hundreds of youngsters from London’s East End have been part of the team, which is now established on the international stage. The 38 riders kicked off last year’s season in Bermuda and finished it in Hamburg, Germany. Pratt’s work is all voluntary and he fits it in around his job as an educational social worker.