2014 saw Paddy Barnes win his second consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medal, to add to a collection that already includes two Olympic bronze medals as well as European gold and silver, and now the man from Northern Ireland receives an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

In a statement Paddy said: “I am pleased to have been recognised in the Queen’s honours list for 2015 for my contribution to the sport of boxing and for my contribution to work in this community.

“This recognition also acknowledges my success in the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and 2014 in India and Scotland respectively.

“I am pleased to accept it on behalf of boxing, my community, coaches, friends and family, who have supported my career from the first frustrating youth defeats to medal success on Olympic and Commonwealth stages.

“I am a proud Irish sportsman, a proud sportsman from Belfast, and I take great pride in representing everyone in Ireland, north and south, in whatever way I can. If my achievements in boxing can inspire others and people can be united through sport, then my efforts will have been worthwhile.

“I look forward to the challenges that 2015 will offer as I make plans to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. I would like to thank all those who have supported me in any way over the years and, as always, I will do my utmost to honour the faith and belief that you have had, and continue to have in me.

“I wish everyone a happy and successful 2015.”