New Year's Honours 2020: Chorley's world champion squash player Laura Massaro 'honoured' with MBE
One of the country’s greatest ever squash players has been honoured in the 2020 New Year’s Honours.
Laura Massaro, who retired after the British Open in May, has become a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to squash.
The 36-year-old, who now lives in Hoghton and attended Albany Academy, has been named in the 2020 list recognising the achievements and service of people from across the UK, from all walks of life.
Laura, who was born in Great Yarmouth before moving to Chorley, said: “I feel very honoured, it’s an amazing honour to have achieved.
“I have always watched people receiving MBEs and OBEs; I’m very proud to be recognised."
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “She is one of England’s greatest female players of all time.
"When she started her squash career in 2000, it took her two years to break onto the world’s top 50 and she lifted her first Tour title in 2005 at the German Open.
“She rose through the ranks to first win World Series events as well as medals at the Commonwealth Games and World Championships.”
Laura lifted her 15th Tour title in 2014 and made history by becoming the first Englishwoman to hold both the British Open and World Championship titles.
She also won back-to-back World Series events in the autumn of 2015 and became the new Women's World No.1 for the first time ever in her career at the beginning of 2016.
Laura said: “It’s good to have that recognition outside of the squash world.
“I’m now coaching trying to build the game, particularly in the Lancashire area.
“I’m working with some professional players, the England set up twice a month, at David Lloyd [sports club] in Chorley.
"There’s a really nice feeling because I have a foot in every step of the squash ladder from the gym right through to the county and national stage.
“I’m really excited to try and build squash.
"I’ve never seen it busier at David Lloyd in Chorley – it’s exciting.”