Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday after a 70-year reign in which, among her many duties, she often paid tribute to Britain's rich sports culture.
One of the biggest honors for an athlete to receive is to be rewarded with a knighthood for one's contributions in the sporting world. Knighthoods have been awarded to men and women (Damehood) from many different sports. From soccer, to tennis, to swimming, many athletes have added "sir" or "dame" to their names.
Here's a look at some athletes who have been knighted by Elizabeth II since her ascension to the throne:
10: Sir Alastair Cook - Cricket
Get Philly local news, weather forecasts, sports and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Philadelphia newsletters.
In 2018, Alastair Cook officially received knighthood from Queen Elizabeth for his services to cricket. He was the first England cricketer to receive a knighthood since Sir Ian Botham in 2007 and the 11th player to be given the honor for services to English cricket.
9: Sir Mo Farah - Athletics
The four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah received his knighthood from Queen Elizabth in 2017 for his services to athletics.
In partnership with NBC Sports Philadelphia
The world champion said being knighted was "an incredible honor" from the country that has been his home since he was eight.
8: Kenny Dalglish - Soccer
Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2018.
The 71-year-old former Celtic and Liverpool player and manager was honored for his services to football, to charity and to the city of Liverpool.
7: Dame Ellen MacArthur - Sailing
Ellen MacArthur received her damehood (the female equivalent to a knight) in 2005 after setting a world record for the fastest solo non stop voyage around the world on her first attempt.
At 28, when MacArthur received the honor, she became the youngest ever to be named a dame.
6. Sir Jason & Laura Kenny - Cycling
Olympic cycling legends Laura and Jason Kenny received their knighthood and damehood from Queen Elizabeth in 2022 for their services in Cycling.
Laura is the most successful British female Olympian ever, winning five gold medals at three Olympic Games and Jason is a seven-time Olympic Gold medalist. The married couple have won 15 Olympic medals between them.
5: Pelé - Soccer
Pelé received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth in 1997. As a Brazilian citizen, he was not eligible to receive an actual knighthood. The soccer legend cannot use the title “Sir” until he becomes a British citizen - at which point the honorary knighthood would then become a substantive knighthood.
4: Sir Alex Ferguson - Soccer
Throughout the year Ferguson has earned the reputation of being one of the best managers in England's soccer history. And he holds a special place in the heart of every Manchester United fan's heart.
He was made Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1995 and was knighted in 1999.
Ferguson was named the Premier League Manager of the Year on 11 different occasions.
3: Sir Bradley Wiggins - Cycling
Bradley Wiggins, who won gold at the 2012 London Olympics and became the first British winner of the Tour de France, was knighted in 2013 for services to cycling.
Wiggins is a five-time Olympic champion and seven-time medalist spanning over four Games, and is tied with fellow cyclist Chris Hoy for the most Olympic medals won by a British athlete.
2: Sir Andy Murray - Tennis
Andy Murray, a three-time Grand Slam winner, was awarded his knighthood in 2017 following his second Wimbledon win and second Olympic gold medal.
The tennis legend was awarded the honor by Prince Charles at an investiture ceremony in 2019.
1: Sir Lewis Hamilton - Motorsports
Lewis Hamilton is one of the most recent athletes to be honored with knighthood. Lewis was knighted in 2020 after matching Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 World Championship titles.
He was knighted by the Prince of Wales, becoming just the fourth F1 driver to receive the honor after Sir Jackie Stewart in 2001, Sir Stirling Moss in 2000 and Sir Jack Brabham in 1979.