Former English cricketer Geoffrey Boycott has dismissed criticism against him being offered knighthood. The criticism came on the former cricketer for having conferred the award despite having a criminal record.
Boycott, in 1998, was convicted of beating his then-girlfriend Margaret Moore in a French Riviera hotel. He was fined £5,000 and given a three-month suspension, but he has always denied charge.
Co-acting chief executive of the charity Women’s Aid did not take Boycott being awarded knighthood well and said: “Celebrating a man who was convicted for assaulting his partner sends a dangerous message – that domestic abuse is not taken seriously as a crime.”
Asked about the criticism from Women’s Aid by presenter Martha Kearney on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Boycott dismissed the claims.
He responded by saying, “I don’t give a toss about her, love. It was 25 years ago so you can take your political nature and do whatever you want with it.”
“It’s very difficult to prove your innocence in another country, in another language.
“I have to live with it – and I do. I’m clear in my mind, and I think most people in England are, that it’s not true.”
"I couldn't give a toss"
Newly knighted @GeoffreyBoycott responds to criticism by Women's Aid over a conviction for domestic abuse in 1998. He has always denied the assault, and told #r4Today: "I'm clear in my mind that it's not true"@MarthaKearney | https://t.co/NqPZQpkPd3 pic.twitter.com/pFUQ7xpnWq
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) September 10, 2019
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said, “Our heartfelt congratulations go to Sir Geoffrey Boycott – honoured for his long career and passionate dedication to the sport. In May 2015, Andrew was invited to join the ECB as director, England cricket, to shape the future strategy of the men’s international teams – in part to enable an environment that would see England as live contenders for the World Cup in 2019, an aim they so thrillingly delivered on just a few short months ago.”
“It was with the same class and courage that he and his family set up the Ruth Strauss Foundation to raise money and awareness just a few months after losing Ruth to a rare form of cancer. Aside from his achievements on and off the pitch, Andrew is widely regarded as an exceptional person in our game and this wonderful accolade will be celebrated around the cricketing world.”