Pam Butcher says she is thrilled to be awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, describing it as “the icing on the cake”.

The reigning Over-85 world champion received news of the accolade a few weeks ago, but the honours list is only made public today.

Receiving the award for Services to Table Tennis, Pam said:

I’m absolutely thrilled and honoured and so are my family. I’m stunned really, I didn’t expect anything like that. Thank you to whoever nominated me.

Pam said the MBE trumps most of her medal-winning exploits on the table, though she rates her triumph in the Over-60s event at the first ever European Veterans’ Championships in 1995 as arguably her biggest achievement.

She said:

Last year’s gold medal (at the Worlds in Alicante) wasn’t quite so unexpected because I had won gold medals before, although it was an honour.

Winning the VETTS players’ player for the year was a big honour as well but the MBE is the icing on the cake.

The award comes at a poignant time for Pam, whose husband Roy died recently after battling Parkinson’s Disease for eight years.

She received the news of the MBE before he passed away and she said:

I did tell him but I’m not sure it registered. I hope it did. He would have been very proud.

Pam has also recently broken an arm, which means she will have to miss this year’s Europeans, but she does have a trip to Buckingham Palace to look forward to.

She said she has no preference for which member of the Royal Family she would like to perform the ceremony and she added:

I don’t mind who it is, I will just be very pleased to go there because I’ve never been to the Palace and it will be a lovely experience, I’m sure.