Seoul 1988 Olympic gold medalist Richard Leman has been recognised with an OBE, which was presented by the Prince of Wales, for his outstanding contribution to the sport after being named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2018.
Leman became President of Great Britain Hockey in 2007, spending a decade in the role, and oversaw a period of success with GB winning a first Olympic medal in 20 years, his tenure culminating in a first ever Olympic gold for England’s women at Rio 2016.
As an athlete, Leman won bronze at the 1984 Olympics before claiming World and European medals in 1986 and 1987, then going on to win gold with Great Britain at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, which was the nation’s first in the sport at that level since 1948.
Heavily active at club level, Leman spent his entire playing career with East Grinstead Hockey Club and, after retiring as an athlete, set up and became the Chairman of East Grinstead Sports Club from 2003 to 2010.
Leman played his 106th England match at the 1990 World Cup, which put made him the country’s most capped player at the time. He also represented Great Britain 70 times and won 40 further caps for England at indoor internationals.
Leman retired as an athlete after that World Cup having accumulated a record 228 international appearances, winning two Olympic medals, a 1986 World Cup silver and a 1987 European bronze.
Upon being presented with an OBE by the Prince of Wales, Leman discussed his pride in being honoured: “It is a great privilege to have been awarded an OBE, but I see this as a further recognition for hockey as a sport and everything that has been achieved over the last two decades. We are very lucky to have so many capable people working and volunteering in hockey and I see a great future for all involved. Without the wonderful support from them and my family it would not have been possible for me to receive this honour and I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to them all.”