A FORMER international sportsman from the North-East has been awarded the MBE as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Iain Nairn, 40, from Chester-le-Street, is being honoured for services to physical disabilities cricket.

Iain, who has a prosthetic right leg, was an integral part of the England physical disabilities cricket squad for eight years, five of those as captain before retiring from international cricket at the end of 2019.

He represented his county up to the age of 18 and played for Chester-le-Street CC in able-bodied cricket before joining the England Physical Disabilities squad in 2012, shortly after its creation.

He became captain in 2014 and led the team to victory in the first ever global Physical Disabilities Cricket tournament the following year, lifting the trophy in the T20 World Series.

In 2019 he guided England to the final of the Physical Disabilities World Series in Worcester, a tournament that shone a light on the worldwide growth of physical disabilities cricket.

On retirement he had represented England more than 20 times in his career and has played a huge part in the growth of disabilities cricket and widening participation.

Iain, who is married and has a one-year-old daughter, works as an insolvency practitioner.

He said: “It was a bit of a surprise.

“I have read about other people being recognised but I had not really expected it myself.

“It is quite a ‘wow’ moment.”

The citation on the official MBE documents describe him as ‘an outstanding leader’ and a ‘mentor to younger players’ as he helped them to develop their interpersonal skills and personalities outside of the game.

It said: “He recognised that a lot of disabled people suffer with self-confidence and self-worth issues and how using the power of sport could address these.

“He is widely regarded as a ‘model professional’ and like all disabilities cricketers, has balanced a full-time job and his family commitments throughout his England career.

“He led from the front in his five years of captaincy, and during this time the standard of physical disabilities cricket has risen immensely.

“In retirement, he continues to be a positive force for cricket in this country and our physical disabilities players will continue to benefit from the foundations he has laid.”