Champion jump jockey AP McCoy has been knighted and football administrator Heather Rabbatts made a dame by the Queen in the New Year Honours List.
Ex-footballers Denis Law and Francis Lee are made CBEs, along with former F1 and motorcycling champion John Surtees.
Broadcaster Sue Barker becomes an OBE, as do Ronnie O'Sullivan, Chris Froome and Chrissie Wellington.
There are MBEs for Carl Frampton, Mark Cueto, Tracey Neville, Jacqui Oatley, Steph Houghton and Fara Williams.
McCoy, 41, rode more than 4,300 winners in his career and is only the second jockey, after Gordon Richards in 1953, to become a Sir.
Champion jockey 20 years running, for every year he was a professional, McCoy was given the BBC Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this month.
He described his knighthood as "surreal".
"I never thought anything like this would be bestowed upon me," said the Northern Irishman, whose official title will be Sir Anthony McCoy OBE. "You can't be recognised in any higher way.
"For the number of years I was competing, I always tried to be as successful as I could, but this honour has as much to do with the people who helped me on the way as it does with myself."
Heather Rabbatts is arguably the most influential woman in domestic football through her role as a director at the Football Association.
Born in Jamaica, she became the FA's first female board member in 2012, having previously served as executive deputy chair at Millwall.
The 60-year-old has spoken out in support of former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro in her dispute with the club and ex-Blues manager Jose Mourinho.
In June, Rabbatts resigned from Fifa's anti-discrimination taskforce following Sepp Blatter's re-election as president.
Scotland great Denis Law played for Manchester United between 1962 and 1973, winning two league titles.
"The letter actually came through the post to my old address," said Law, 75. "It may well have arrived there a few years ago!
"When we did find out, we actually kept it from the family and my daughter was annoyed with me because she found out from elsewhere."
Francis Lee, 71, won the league with Manchester City in 1968 and also played a key part in the FA Cup success in 1969 and the League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup triumphs in 1970.
Striker Lee played 27 times for England and also helped Derby County become league champions in 1975.
Barker among honours
Broadcaster Sue Barker and England football captain Steph Houghton are among the high-profile women recognised.
Appointed an OBE for services to broadcasting and charity, Barker won tennis' French Open in 1976 at the age of 20.
When injury ended her playing career in the mid-1980s, she moved into broadcasting and the 59-year-old now fronts the corporation's tennis coverage as well as quiz show A Question Of Sport.
Jacqui Oatley, 40, was the first female commentator to appear on the BBC's Match of the Day programme in 2007 and has been appointed as an MBE for her services to broadcasting and diversity in sport.
Tracey Neville, 38, coached the England team to third place at the Netball World Cup and becomes an MBE.
So does Manchester City defender Steph Houghton, 27, who captained England to third place at the Women's World Cup.
Liverpool Ladies and England midfielder Fara Williams said it was a "massive shock" to receive a letter saying she had been appointed an MBE.
"I thought someone was taking me to court," said the the 31-year-old Londoner, who has played 148 times for England and was once homeless for six years.
A unique double
John Surtees, the only man to win world titles on two and four wheels, has been appointed a CBE.
The 81-year-old Englishman won seven world motorcycling championships between 1956 and 1960.
He secured the Formula One world title in 1964 with Ferrari and formed his own race team before retiring from competitive driving in 1972.
Surtees is also the oldest surviving F1 champion, and the oldest surviving 500cc/MotoGP world champion.
Tour champion, Ironman and Rocket
Cyclist Chris Froome, 30, has been appointed an OBE after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France for a second time.
Triathlete Chrissie Wellington, 38, is recognised for winning four Ironman titles and her campaign work for equality in sport.
Nicknamed The Rocket for his quick-fire potting, Ronnie O'Sullivan, 40, has won the World Snooker Championship five times and is considered by many to be the greatest player of his generation.
IBF super-bantamweight boxing champion Carl Frampton is appointed an MBE, as is former England wing Mark Cueto, who retired from rugby union in May.
Annamarie Phelps, the chair of British Rowing who competed in the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, has been appointed a CBE for services to her sport.
Three other sporting administrators - the LTA's first female president Catherine Sabin, president of British Cycling Bob Howden, and former chief executive of British Canoeing Paul Owen - all become OBEs.
All the sporting honours
AP McCoy OBE, for services to horse racing.
Heather Rabbatts CBE, for public service and services to football and equality
Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE):
Denis Law, for services to football and charity; Francis Lee, for services to football and charity; Annamarie Phelps, for services to rowing; John Surtees OBE, for services to motorsport.
Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE):
Sue Barker MBE, for services to broadcasting and charity; Chris Froome, for services to cycling; Robert Howden, for services to cycling; Ronnie O'Sullivan, for services to snooker; Paul Owen, for services to canoeing; Catherine Sabin, for services to tennis; Chrissie Wellington MBE, for services to sport and charity.
Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE):
Yvonne Anderson, for services to the Special Olympics; Ian Beggs, for services to rugby; James Callander, for voluntary services to athletics; Mark Cueto, for services to rugby; Janice Eaglesham, for services to disability sport; Roger Fennemore, for services to sport; Carl Frampton, for services to boxing; Heather Galbraith, for services to equestrianism; Pamela Gallant, for services to people with special needs, particularly through sport; Roy Harrison, for voluntary service to cricket in Northern Ireland; Stephanie Houghton, for services to football; Gaynor Jones, for voluntary service to golf and the development of women's golf in Wales; Brian Lee, for services to football; Dianne McMillan, for services to swimming and disability awareness; Stephen Miller, for services to sport; Ian Mirfin, for services to disability sport; Cargin Moss, for services to taekwondo; Tracey Neville, for services to netball; Jacqui Oatley, for services to broadcasting and diversity in sport; Ronald Webster, for services to tennis in Scotland; Anne Whitworth, for services to hockey in the north-east; Fara Williams, for services to women's football and charity.