AN 85-YEAR-OLD from the Welsh border has had a day to remember as he was awarded his MBE by the "delightful" Princess Anne.

Bill Higginson, who now lives in Presteigne on the Herefordshire-Powys border has devoted much of his life to cricket, and was recognised in the 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours List became an MBE for his services to disability cricket.

He worked at the charity British Association for Cricketers with Disabilities from 1998 until 2019.

"A day to remember," Mr Higginson said after the investiture at Windsor Castle on November 23, with wife Liz alongside.

"Princess Anne, who made the presentation, was delightful and made me feel relaxed.

"Our exchange touched on her interest in Riding for the Disabled which linked perfectly with my own voluntary work for Cricketers with Disabilities.

"We enjoyed travelling through the stunning castle interiors containing a fascinating collection of past monarchs portraits.

"A truly memorable experience."

After the list was published in October 2020, Mr Higginson said he was shocked when he found out.

"My wife had been carrying the secret for ages, because the guy who set it all in motion did so about two years ago," he said.

"The guy had to get to my wife to get the background and get the facts right. It wasn't until May this year we get a special letter from the Cabinet Office to say you've been nominated.

"We wrote back and said yes and that was May. We then had to wait until much, much later and we couldn't say anything until October 9.

"When the letter actually comes it's quite emotional but nevertheless very exciting. The wonderful thing is it's for services to disability cricket, a reward if you like to the volunteers who keep people with disabilities playing throughout the summer."

When Mr Higginson first moved to Powys he became the cricket development officer for the county and Ceredigion, a post which he held for five years.

He then formed the Powys Association of Cricket Coaches and is currently the chairman of the British Association for Cricketers with Disabilities.

A former middle-order batsmen, Mr Higginson played for Middlesex from 1957 to 1961, but before that was ground staff at Lord’s in 1953.