Romford’s very own 82-year-old marathon runner to be made an MBE by the Queen today
PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 October 2017
An 82-year-old marathon runner who has raised an incredible £100,000 for a variety of charities over his 50-year career will be made an MBE this morning.
Leonard Nye – known to his friends as John – was informed in June that his charitable activities had earned him a place in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and will today be invested with his Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) award at Buckingham Palace.
And Leonard, of Blenheim Close, Romford, told the Recorder he was “nervous and excited” ahead of his big day.
He said: “It’s going to be a fantastic day and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’m not one to make too much of a fuss about myself but it’s an honour to be recognised for all the work I’ve done.
“I’ve never really thought much of it.”
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.”
Due to the high levels of security around the palace, Leonard is only allowed to take three guests – his two daughters and his partner Maud.
“My grandkids are going to come as well, but they’ll have to just wait at the gate!” he added.
The unflappable runner has run 300 half marathons, 26 London marathons and 76 full marathons all over the world, and doesn’t plan on giving up just yet.