MARATHON swimmer Dr Chris Stockdale has received an MBE for services to charities from the Queen.
The retired GP was invited down to the palace along with his family to collect the honour after raising an incredible £300,000 for West Midlands charities over 35 years through long distance swims and triathlons.
“I can’t tell you how wonderful it was,” said the 68-year-old from Tanworth-in-Arden.
“I thought I would be nervous or tearful, I just felt really happy. I still can’t really take it in.”
Dr Stockdale, who trains at Tudor Grange pool, began fund-raising with a British Channel swim in 1977 and has gone on to cross it twice more, as well as participating in a 32-hour swimming marathon on Lake Garda, Italy and many more incredible endurance feats.
“It’s been a very exciting 35 years and I’ve had some great adventures along the way. You don’t think about it from year to year, it’s only when you start to add them up you realise how much you’ve done.”
Sadly, the honour came at the end of Dr Stockdale’s career after he was hit by a car during a charity cycle round the British coast in 2009, damaging his shoulder.
But he is now considering going into coaching to share the secrets of his swimming success with the next generation.
A number of borough residents also received MBEs in the New Year Honours List including Councillor Diana Holl-Allen for services to the police and Shirley’s Leslie Mosley for services to Birmingham’s disabled people.