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British cricket legend Ian Botham has been knighted in recognition of his outstanding fundraising efforts.

The all-rounder is estimated to have raised around £10m (around $20m) for Leukaemia Research through a series of long-distance charity walks.

The 51-year-old became the first player to score 5,000 runs in the sport that made him famous.

Speaking after the Queen’s Birthday Honours were announced he said he was “delighted”.

He cites as his inspiration a chance visitation to a children’s ward whilst recovering from a toe injury, admitting he was shocked to learn some of the youngsters had just weeks to live.

Botham has since completed eleven walks, starting in 1985 with a gruelling 1500 kilometre hike spanning the length of Britain from John o’ Groats to Land’s End.

That fundraising has continued since and earlier this month he headed an all-star golfing day at Scotland’s Gleneagles Hotel.
The event, in Perthshire, was co-hosted by former Boyzone front man Ronan Keating.

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