Stephen Sutton awarded MBE after his death from cancer

Inspirational teenager Stephen Sutton has been honoured with an MBE in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours, just weeks after losing his fight against cancer.

CANNOCK  Pic Trevor Roberts       Pic for Express and Star  Pictures of Cancer sufferer Stephen Sutton aged 18  who is raising cash for his cancer charity..he lives in Burntwood....CANCER FUNDRAISER STEPHEN SUTTON (3719553)
Stephen Sutton

The Burntwood 19-year-old accepted the honour before his death on May 14, declaring it 'awesome' and giving it the 'thumbs-up'.

The honours also include awards for stars of stage and screen, with A-lister Angelina Jolie picking up an honorary damehood for her work to fight sexual violence.

Jolie, who has been co-chairing the End Sexual Violence in Conflict (ESVC) global summit with Foreign Secretary William Hague in London this week, is recognised in the Diplomatic Service and Overseas Birthday 2014 Honours list, for exceptional service to Britain overseas.

Stephen's MBE is backdated to the date of his death last month, which touched millions and resulted in a huge boost in donations to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

His mother Jane said although he always said he did not want recognition for his charity work, even he acknowledged that to receive an MBE was "awesome".

The teenager, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 15, became a household name as he helped raise £4 million for the fight against cancer, staying positive throughout his illness, always smiling and giving the "thumbs up".

Mrs Sutton said she was "truly delighted and immensely proud" that he had been recognised in the honours.

She said: "Shortly before Stephen passed away on May 14 he received a letter from the Cabinet Office asking if he was agreeable to accepting an MBE in recognition of his fundraising and services to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

"He thought it was an incredible honour to have been nominated and it definitely got the 'thumbs up'."

Mrs Sutton said the honour was a "wonderful recognition" of her son's charity work and would help promote the legacy of his Facebook page "Stephen's Story".

She said: "Although Stephen continually told all of us that he didn't do his charity work for recognition, even he acknowledged that to be appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire was 'awesome'."

The honour announcement came as thousands of people turned out on Saturday to take part in a fundraiser in memory of Stephen.

More than 2,500 tickets had been sold for the the Thumbs Up For Stephen Sutton event before it even started, but throughout the day more and more people flocked to the venue at Burntwood Rugby Club.

Crowds enjoyed music from bands including the Soul'd Outs, Nick Aslam and recently signed Rugeley band The Pelotons.

Organisers were raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust at the event.

Announcing the teenager's MBE, the Cabinet Office said: "It is clear that Stephen touched and inspired a huge number of people and that his ambassadorial work for the Teenage Cancer Trust was greatly appreciated by all those he helped."

Siobhan Dunn, the trust's chief executive, said: "Stephen was an exceptional young man who told his own story in his own positive way and in doing so created the single biggest fundraising event in Teenage Cancer Trust's history.

"His achievements are outstanding and it is wonderful to see him honoured in this way.

"Stephen didn't measure life in time, preferring instead to measure it by the difference someone makes.

"He has made an enormous difference to Teenage Cancer Trust and the seven young people diagnosed with cancer every day who need our help."

On Thursday it was revealed that West Midland Safari Park had named a baby elephant Sutton in honour of Stephen. In January he had been pictured with the elephant's mother, Five, as it was on his bucket list to hug an animal bigger than himself.

Stephen Sutton with Five (Picture from Facebook)
Stephen Sutton with Five (Picture from Facebook)

Jolie, who is special envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, receives an honorary damehood (DCMG) for services to UK foreign policy and the campaign to end war zone sexual violence. 

The star co-founded the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) with Mr Hague in May 2012 and is described as having made an "exceptional contribution".

She said: "To receive an honour related to foreign policy means a great deal to me, as it is what I wish to dedicate my working life to.

"Working on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and with survivors of rape is an honour in itself.

"I know that succeeding in our goals will take a lifetime, and I am dedicated to it for all of mine."

Announcing the latest round of honours today, the Cabinet Office said more than 1,100 people had received an award.

Actress Dame Maggie Smith is made a Companion of Honour, while Daniel Day-Lewis receives a knighthood, and Homeland star Damian Lewis gets an OBE.

Britain's winter Olympians join their summer predecessors with a flurry of awards.

Skeleton gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold, who won Britain's first gold medal of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, receives an MBE, as do visually-impaired skier Kelly Gallagher and her guide Charlotte Evans, who won Britain's first ever gold medal in the Winter Paralympics.

Also in the world of sport, an OBE goes to Wales rugby head coach Warren Gatland, while England women's cricket captain Charlotte Edwards receives a CBE, with an MBE going to her deputy Jenny Gunn.

MBEs also go to Kevin Sinfield, captain of Leeds Rhinos Rugby League team, and to Scottish racing driver Dario Franchitti.

Golfer Laura Davies becomes a dame, as do author Hilary Mantel, economist Katharine Barker, fashion designer Zandra Rhodes and Professor Jessica Corner, dean of health sciences at the University of Southampton.

Classical pianist Andras Schiff receives a knighthood, while MBEs go to Torchwood star John Barrowman; singer songwriter Cerys Matthews; and Nicola Clarke, chair of the Military Wives Choirs Foundation.

A CBE goes to BBC Radio 4 Gardeners' Question Time presenter Roy Lancaster, while OBEs go to writer and Beatles expert Hunter Davies and to Mercury Prize-winning musician Talvin Singh.

Laurie Johnson, the composer behind the theme music for The Avengers and The Professionals, receives an MBE for services to music, while folk musician Eliza Carthy, daughter of Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson, also receives an MBE.

Those who helped in the aftermath of the floods that blighted the south west of the country in February are recognised.

MBEs go to Shirley Fewings, manager of Dawlish and East Teignbridge Volunteer Service, who led volunteers to support people evacuated from their homes, as well as Steven Iles, head of highways at Croydon Council, who gets the award for services to the community during the 2014 flooding.

An MBE also goes to the Rev John Wood, vicar at St Ann's Church in Tottenham, north London, who helped build local relationships after the riots in 2011.

Sylvia Lancaster, whose 20-year-old daughter Sophie was killed in 2007 when she and her boyfriend were attacked by a gang of youths for being goths, receives an OBE in the birthday honours for services to community cohesion, particularly reducing hate crime.

She set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation in her daughter's memory in a bid to stamp out prejudice and promote understanding of subcultures.

Political historian and head of Wellington College Anthony Seldon, whose books include Tony Blair's biography, receives a knighthood, as does Robert Francis QC, who chaired the public inquiry into the controversial Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. A knighthood also goes to Tory grandee Nicholas Soames.

Martin Lewis, founder of, gets an OBE for services to consumer rights and charitable services, while John Simpson, who was chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary from 1993 until last year, also gets the award for services to literature.

Some 11 per cent of the honours are for work in education, including a knighthood for national pupil premium champion John Dunford, while health makes up eight per cent of the honours.

Women receive 49 per cent of the honours, after the New Year honours earlier this year became the first in which there were more women on the list than men.

A knighthood goes to Merseyside Police chief constable Jonathan Murphy, while a CBE goes to former Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Elizabeth Filkin, author of the controversial report on the relationship between the police and the media in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.

Industry and the economy makes up 11 per cent of the list, with an OBE going to Paul Hawkins, managing director and chairman of Hawk-Eye Innovations, whose technology is used at Wimbledon and now the English football Premier League.

Awards in science and technology, which make up three per cent of the total, include a knighthood for Professor Thomas Kibble, senior research fellow and emeritus professor of theoretical physics at Imperial College London, whose work contributed to the discovery of the Higgs boson, or so-called 'God particle'.

The British Empire Medal, resurrected in June 2012 for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, goes to 300 of the honours recipients, including 19-year-old George Fielding, chair, ambassador and Kidz Board member of disabled children's charity Whizz Kidz, as well as 99-year-old Ethel Dobbins, who gets one for her service to the community in Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire.

In the diplomatic list, BBC chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet receives an OBE for services to British broadcast journalism.

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