Search

Romford marathon runner, 82, made an MBE at ‘unforgettable’ Buckingham Palace reception

PUBLISHED: 13:00 18 October 2017

82 year old marathon runner Leonard Nye is to receive the MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours

82 year old marathon runner Leonard Nye is to receive the MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours

Archant

Havering’s very own 82-year-old marathon runner had a Tuesday morning to remember as he was made an MBE at a star-studded royal reception at Buckingham Palace.

Leonard Nye, of Blenheim Close, Romford, has raised around £100,000 for a variety of charities in his 50 years running marathons.

In June, Leonard – known to his friends as John – was informed that his charitable activities had earned him a place in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and was invested with his Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) award.

“It was an excellent, unbelievable morning, and it was an experience I will never forget,” he told the Recorder.

“The whole thing ran so smoothly, even the police officers who searched our cars as we went in were incredibly polite and nice.”

And Leonard was in illustrious company.

He revealed: “I was getting the award alongside the director of the Olympic swimming programme and David Walliams, and we were presented them by Princess Anne.

“She’d talk to each of us for about four minutes about what we’d done to earn the award.

“She said to me ‘I don’t think I could run a marathon’, and I wanted to reply ‘well I couldn’t ride a horse!’ but I thought it might be a bit rude.”

Leonard started running in the army, where long, endurance runs were part of a gruelling training regime.

Upon leaving the army, he continued to run for a local running club, before realising he could combine his marathons with raising money for charity.

Although he first ran for St Francis Hospice, for the past six years Leonard has supported Little Havens Hospice.

But he never thought his running might land him an MBE.

“Even getting the invitation was a special moment,” he told the Recorder.

“It was this giant envelope, about one foot by 10 inches, with official writing on the front.

“It was never going to get through my letter box, so the postman knocked.

“I said to him, ‘it’s not a parking ticket from the Queen is it?’

“But it was this lovely invitation from Her Majesty and Prince Philip to join them at Buckingham Palace to receive my award.”

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:14

Shockwaves have been sent across Collier Row today as residents try to come to terms with the ‘disgusting’ murder of a 15-year-old boy after a birthday party.


Yesterday, 15:00

Neighbours in Harwood Avenue have decided to take part in the capital wide competition for the first time.

Now that Brexit is finally getting under way, the Conservative government is keeping its promise to the British people by investing in our NHS.

Yesterday, 02:56

A 15-year-old boy was fatally stabbed after a birthday party in Collier Row.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

A man who followed a Rainham OAP driver and stole her car and threatened a mum at knifepoint while she was dropping off her children at school in Seven Kings has been handed six years in prison.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

A man has fractured both his ankles after a 70-year-old mobility scooter driver collided with him in Harold Wood.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

I saw huge moth and presumed I’d shrunk

PROMOTED CONTENT

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Sean Watson, director at the family-run St Michaels Homes which runs Howard Lodge and Dudbrook Hall, answers the common questions people have about care homes.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now