Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew leads New Year Honours list

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Catriona Matthew with the Solheim CupImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Catriona Matthew - pictured with the Solheim Cup - has been made an OBE

Scottish golfer Catriona Matthew, who captained Team Europe to Solheim Cup victory over the US, has been appointed an OBE in the New Year Honours list.

The 50-year-old has been recognised for services to golf, 10 years after becoming an MBE.

Rose Reilly, who moved to Italy to become a professional footballer in the 1970s, has been appointed an MBE.

Banker Ross McEwan and former Labour politician Brian Wilson are among the others to be honoured.

Ms Matthew, who grew up in North Berwick, told the BBC she was "absolutely delighted" when she opened her post to find the news that she was to receive the honour.

She said it was "quite a surprise" and she was "very excited" to get the recognition for her achievements.

"It's a huge honour for myself, for the team and for woman's golf", she added.

She said the victory on "home soil" had been "very special".

Her family are looking forward to travelling down to Buckingham Palace to see her receive the honour.

Image caption,
Rose Reilly took Italy by storm

Another sportswoman honoured, with an MBE, is Rose Reilly - the Scottish footballer who left Scotland at 17 to become a professional footballer in Europe.

Despite already turning out for the Scotland national team, Ms Reilly, 64, from Ayrshire, went on to be selected for Italy before captaining the side that won the Mundialito in 1984 - a competition seen as a predecessor of the Women's World Cup.

Recalling the moment she learned she was to be honoured, Ms Reilly said: "My first reaction was I went up to the cemetery to tell my mum and dad.

"I was so proud - proud for them."

She added that she had struggled to keep the news a secret.

"I was nearly doing somersaults. I was walking about beaming, smiling at people... I didn't even know," she said.

"I was very happy because it was for us women from Scotland, for women's football generally."

She added: "I never looked for honours. I played football because of the love, the passion I've got for it. I used to pass my honours on to a fan or a friend. I've not got the trophies.

"Every victory is a victory, but this is the cherry on the cake. I'm holding on to this one."

The honours system

Image source, PA

Commonly awarded ranks:

  • Companion of honour - Limited to 65 people. Recipients wear the initials CH after their name
  • Knight or Dame
  • CBE - Commander of the Order of the British Empire
  • OBE - Officer of the Order of the British Empire
  • MBE - Member of the Order of the British Empire
  • BEM - British Empire Medal
  • Guide to the honours

Former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Ross McEwan has also been honoured.

He announced in April that he was stepping down, and becomes a CBE for services to the financial sector.

When he took the helm in 2013, the bank was more than 80% owned by the UK government, but the taxpayer's stake has since reduced to 62.4%.

One of his challenges was to prepare the bank to be returned to private hands - a task still not complete, but with progress being made after RBS posted profits for the second consecutive year in February.

Image source, Getty Images

There were also OBEs for two people involved at the V&A museum in Dundee.

Lesley Knox, the former chairwoman of the museum, received the honour for services to culture and director Philip Long is recognised for services to heritage and culture.

Actress Maureen Beattie, who stars with David Tennant in the upcoming TV drama Deadwater Fell, has also been made an OBE.

Beattie - whose father is the popular Scottish actor and comedian Johnny Beattie - is being recognised for services to the entertainment industry, having become the second female president of the Equity trade union last year.

Meanwhile, Helen Holland has also been made an OBE for services to survivors of childhood abuse, having co-founded the Wellbeing Scotland project In Care Abuse Survivors.

Harris tweed success

Former Labour politician Brian Wilson has been made a CBE for services to business and charity in Scotland.

He served as a minister of state under Tony Blair and is currently the chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides, which has been credited with leading the tweed industry out of crisis.

Mr Wilson, also a director at Celtic FC, has spoken of his "surprise" when told of his royal honour.

He set up the company in 2008, "when the industry was at a low ebb". He said: "I think this is more of a recognition of everyone who has been involved in the Harris Tweed revival."

The former politician added: "I think it's generally accepted that we have led the revival of an industry that's in a pretty perilous condition."

The same honour goes to Joanna Baker, who was formerly managing director of the Edinburgh International Festival and chair of the National Youth Choir of Scotland.

Professor Rowena Arshad, the head of Edinburgh University's Moray House School of Education and co-director of the Centre for Education and Racial equality, has been made a CBE for services to education and equality.

Prof Arshad was a member of the first black women's group in Scotland and was the equal opportunities commissioner for Scotland from 2001 to 2007.

Ian Curle, who was chief executive of spirits company Edrington - which owns brands including Macallan, the Famous Grouse and Highland Park whiskies - is another who has been appointed a CBE.

He is honoured for services to the Scotch whisky industry after stepping down from the drinks firm in March.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "The people of Scotland recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours have made exceptional contributions to communities the length and breadth of this country and beyond."