By Laura Maltby Thursday 03 January 2013 Updated: 03/01 10:14
GOLDEN boy James Roe has topped off a dream year by being awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours.
The 24-year-old scooped gold in the LTA Mixed Coxed Four at Eton Dorney during the Paralympics in September to secure the only rowing medal for the host nation.
James said: "To be named MBE on the Queen's New Year Honours list is the perfect conclusion to an amazing year."
He was given a hero’s welcome when he returned home to Stratford after his success on the water with more than a thousand people lining the streets as he paraded in an open-top bus from Stratford Boat Club to the town hall.
The former KES pupil had previously been given the golden seal of approval by the Royal Mail when two postboxes on Bridge Street were painted gold and he also had his achievement commemorated with a specially produced Royal stamp.
And now along with fellow crew members, Pam Relph, Naomi Riches, David Smith and cox Lily van den Broecke, James has become a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to rowing.
He plans to have a year off during which time he will be coaching youngsters at Stratford Boat Club before deciding on whether to compete at Rio 2016.
Talking about James' success, club president Felix Badcock said: “We were very proud James received his MBE and we felt it was very well deserved.
“He devoted himself to training for four years and it just shows what can be done with hard work and dedication."
He admitted the club had been forced to increase the number of junior sessions on the back of James' success and added: “We are delighted to be seeing a lot more of James as he will be able to pass on his expertise to enthusiastic young rowers and help create stars of the future.”
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