Source: Barrie Winwood

Rugby volunteers recognised in New Year’s Honours List

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Corinne Winwood, Keith McGuinness and Michael Spence have received British Empire Medals (BEM) in the New Year’s Honours List.

Following 26 years of service to Braintree Rugby Club, Corinne Winwood, BEM (pictured above) has been awarded the honour for services to youth rugby in Essex.

The 66 year old from Witham is currently youth and mini section chairman at the club having helped start the now-flourishing youth section. Corinne was key in setting up their youth academy and was the driving force, alongside husband Barrie, behind Braintree being awarded the RFU’s Whole Club Seal of Approval in 2010.

Corrinne Winwood said: “It’s a huge honour and I just can’t get my head around it to be honest. I was very emotional when I opened it and got the news, because you don’t do things like this for reward.

“I always tell people I don’t play rugby, I just make sure it can be played. We do have a really lovely club and it’s great to have been involved all this time and to have played a role in the development of the youngsters.”

Keith McGuinness, BEM from Marlow, Buckinghamshire has been awarded his honour for services to rugby and charity.

The former fullback and fly half was vice captain of London Irish and also played rugby in Kenya. He featured in East African select sides against the Springboks and the British and Irish Lions. He continued playing well into his 60s latterly with Old Grammarians RFC.

McGuinness has served Old Grammarians RFC both on and off the field for more than 35 years. He is the club’s longest serving President, having initially taken the helm in 1976 until 1979 before resuming it in 1980. He is passionate about Tottenham, where he grew up, and bringing young people from the area into the club.

Keith McGuinness, BEM said: “I was greatly honoured and surprised when I heard the news and my thoughts went back to my humble roots in Tottenham. I have always enjoyed my rugby throughout my life whether playing or working behind the scenes at a wonderful club like Old Grammarians RFC.

“We had a fantastic grammar school in Tottenham which I owe a great deal to and the club always had a great connection with it. We are in great shape as a club and have a flourishing youth section now with so many committed parents. I am very proud to have played a role in making it a wonderful club.”

Michael Spence also received a BEM for services to Education and Disability Sport. Spence from Berkeley, Gloucester is Trustee of Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby and has worked as a Teaching Assistant and lately Governor at Manorbrook Primary School.

Report courtesy of the RFU