Jamie Jones-Buchanan has been made an MBE in the 2022 New Year Honours list for his services to Rugby League.
His whole playing career was dedicated to Leeds Rhinos, spending 20 seasons with his hometown club and making over 400 appearances.
A former Stanningley junior, Jones-Buchanan won seven Super League Grand Finals along with a Challenge Cup, three World Club Challenges and three League Leaders’ Shields.
The England and Great Britain international retired at the end of 2019 to join the Rhinos’ coaching staff and is now an assistant coach to the first team under Richard Agar.
As well as his remarkable achievements on the field, Jones-Buchanan has also made an immense contribution to his local community and the wider Rugby League community.
He is a trustee of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and the Leeds 2023 Year of Culture, as well as expanding his interests into the media and theatre.
“It’s a massive honour, I’m really proud,” said Jones-Buchanan, who joins former Rhinos team-mates Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrow in receiving honours from the Queen.
“I’ve talked many times about how privileged I feel and how much gratitude I have for the opportunity to go on a journey with an unbelievable group of individuals in a really special environment.
“I was fortunate to be surrounded by Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock, Rob Burrow, Danny McGuire, and a very special cohort of players who were both successful on the pitch and in many ways probably more successful off it.
“I think that group shines brighter now than it did on the field, which is testament to the culture that we had as a group of men.
“I’ve been reflecting on a difficult two-year period where I’m still transitioning from being an ex-professional Rugby League player to an assistant coach and redefining who I am as an individual thinking about the next chapter of my life.
“Getting that letter was a really nice end to what’s been a special chapter in my life, and an encouragement as well. I’m surrounded by wonderful people and it’s not about the personal accolade.
“The fact that it transcends sport, having that recognition from the state, makes it that little bit more special. That day (I found out) I was really fuzzy and warm and I have been ever since.”
Read more from Jamie Jones-Buchanan in next Monday’s edition of League Express, available on newsstands in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.