Steven Redgrave's knighthood caps the mountainous success enjoyed by Great Britain's Olympic team in this year's New Year's Honours List.

The five-times Olympic gold medallist becomes Sir Steven in a list in which all 21 of his fellow winners in Sydney are also honoured.

Redgrave's reward for his history-making feat with the coxless fours on Penrith Lake follows the CBE he received after victory in Atlanta four years ago and the MBE he was awarded in 1986.

His team-mate Matthew Pinsent, who won his third consecutive gold, receives the CBE, while Andrew Foster and James Cracknell are awarded MBEs.

The man in charge of Britain's best Olympics for 80 years paid tribute to Redgrave.

Simon Clegg, chief executive of the British Olympic Association and chef de mission of Team GB 2000, said: ''I am delighted that Britain's greatest Olympian has been honoured with a knighthood.

''It is a fitting way not only to acknowledge his retirement from competitive rowing, culminating in his fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal in Sydney, but also his service at the highest level to his sport and his country over the years.

''It is clearly excellent news for the entire Olympic movement in this country that all Team GB's Olympic gold medallists from Sydney have been recognised in this way.

''They each contributed to the most successful Great Britain Olympic team since Antwerp in 1920 and their performances and behaviour both on and off the field of play are an example to every aspiring athlete.''

MBEs also go to Britain's nine gold medallists in the men's coxed eight - Louis Atrill, Francis Hunt-Davis, Simon Dennis, Luka Grubor, Andrew Lindsay, Fred Scarlett, Stephen Trapmore, Kieran West and cox Rowley Douglas.

Jonathan Edwards gets the CBE for his triple jump gold medal, following the MBE he received during his world record-breaking year in 1995.

And Denise Lewis, who defied injury to edge home in the heptathlon, gets the OBE 12 months after the MBE she received for earning world championship silver.

Boxer Audley Harrison, pentathlete Stephanie Cook, shooter Richard Faulds and cyclist Jason Queally are all made MBEs.

And British sailing is celebrating MBEs for gold medallists Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and Shirley Robertson.

The hugely successful British paralympic team are also recognised, with five gold medallists - Vicky Broadribb, Kenny Cairns, Caroline Innes, Isabel Newstead and Lee Pearson - receiving MBEs.

And the smooth organisation which bolstered the British team's chances is recognised with an MBE for British Olympic Association's Director of Games Services, Louise Ramsay.

Elsewhere, former England cricket captain and chairman of selectors Ted Dexter has been awarded an MBE for services to cricket.

Colin Young's work for Southborough Cricket Club earns him an MBE and Colin Deane receives the honorary MBE for services to the sport.

Denmark's former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and Italian jockey Frankie Dettori also receive honorary MBEs for services to football and horse racing respectively.

Dale Reid, who captained Britain's women golfers to their famous Solheim Cup victory over the United States, is rewarded with the OBE, and darts legend Phil Taylor, winner of eight world championships, receives the MBE.

In football, there are MBEs for Brendon Batson, the deputy chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, and long-serving Portsmouth goalkeeper Alan Knight.

Sheila Begbie gets an MBE for services for the women's game while Everton chairman Bill Kenwright is made a CBE, although that comes in recognition of his services to theatre and film.

Jean Perkins (netball) gets an OBE and Ann Jee (squash) an MBE in honour of their sterling work for less high-profile sports, and work behind the scenes is recognised in an MBE for Bill Adams for services to horse racing's Stable Lads' Association.

A number of other broadcasters and administrators also get honours. There are OBEs for Martin Hopkins (sports broadcasting), Adrian Metcalfe (sport), Kenneth Reid (sport) and Don Rutherford (rugby union), and MBEs for Ted Bates (Southampton Football Club), William Hardiman (sports ground management), Ron Jones (sport), and John Snowdon (amateur swimming).

Prime Minister Tony Blair is to invite the entire British Olympic and Paralympic team to London for a reception in January and a Downing Street spokesman said yesterday the list reflected ''the extraordinary achievements of athletes at both games (Olympics and Paralympics).

''British teams exceeded all expectations and their success brought the country together in a way that perhaps only sport can.''

The spokesman added that Redgrave's five golds made him the ''outstanding athlete in the history of the modern games - and he's British.''

The spokesman also pointed out the five honours given to members of the successful paralympic team - the first time they have been honoured in such numbers