Waringstown cricket stalwart Roy Harrison made the trip to Buckingham Palace recently to receive his MBE - after being named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
He received the honour for his services to cricket from The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.
The oldest of the six Harrison brothers, he is a former Waringstown captain and chairman, and the pavilion at the Lawn was renamed The Roy Harrison Pavilion in his honour.
He has also been president of the Irish Cricket Union, serving at the top level of Irish cricket for many years.
He has two sons, and Gareth, who lives in Sydney, Australia, travelled back to the UK to watch his dad receive the MBE.
Roy said: “It’s something that was unbelievable for me anyway. I never expected anything like that. For to go to the Palace, you see the decoration of it, you would think it was done yesterday, it’s magnificent.
“William was very down to earth, there were no airs or graces when you spoke to him. He was very, very nice.
“He said to me: ‘You’re interested in cricket, what enjoyment do you get in cricket now?’ I said I love to see young players coming through and progressing to the various levels. Some reach international level and I think that in itself is magnificent.”
Roy was delighted that Gareth travelled from Down Under to be in London: “Gareth was there from Australia, which was great. He stayed here for a week and he did a bit of a tour of Europe as well. He went to Rome and Paris when he was back.”
Finally, he paid tribute to wife Muriel, who has become every bit as ardent a cricket fan as he is.
Roy added: “There’s the old saying, behind every good man there’s a far better woman, and that’s very true as far as Muriel is concerned. She has backed me all the way.”