Golfer Max honoured ... half a century on

YEARS of campaigning to have a Bexhill-born champion golfer acknowledged reached fruition in the Queen s New Year Honours.

Golfing legend Max Faulkner, who now lives in Pulborough, has been recognised with an OBE.

Max won the British Open in 1951 at Royal Portrush and became only one of four Englishmen to have won the title in the last 50 years. But until this week he was also the only one not to have been honoured for his achievement.

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Now, to the delight of his main fan, Tony Pont, of Sutton Place, Max has the recognition he deserves.

And from his home on New Year s Eve, Max praised Tony s efforts.

"What Tony did for me," said the 85-year-old, "was a wonderful. He has been a great help over the years."

Tony first campaigned in July 1999 for Rother to erect a plaque in the town celebrating one of its famous sporting sons. It was finally erected on the putting green on the seafront.

He told the Observer the honour was just as special as when he won the 1951 Open.

"What a great thrill this is. It is just as exciting as when I won the Open all those years ago."