Tony McCoy has received a knighthood in recognition of his services to horseracing.

The 41-year-old officially retired at the end of April when he brought the curtain down on a spectacular 23-year National Hunt career.

He said: "It is an unbelievable privilege and honour to receive a knighthood in the New Year Honours List. I certainly wasn't expecting it.

"I consider myself lucky to have had a job I loved, every single day.

"The team around me made it possible for me to achieve my goals and the support from the public and racing community since my retirement has been overwhelming.

"A knighthood really tops off what's been a crazy and memorable year".

McCoy counted 31 Cheltenham Festival winners, as well as two Gold Cups and one famous Grand National success, among his big-race haul.

McCoy was also crowned champion jockey for 20 consecutive seasons, with the trophy decommissioned and awarded to him permanently at the end of the last campaign.

A total of 4,358 career winners were banked after he first struck gold with Legal Steps at Thurles in March 1992.

Capard King gave him a final triumph over jumps at Ayr on 17 April this year before McCoy enjoyed one last spin when winning the 'Leger Legends' Flat race aboard Gannicus at Doncaster in September.

McCoy set countless records during his riding career, most notably posting an incredible 289 winners in the 2001-2 season - a feat which surpassed Sir Gordon Richards' long-standing record of 269 victories.

He secured another piece of history in 2010 when he became the first jockey to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year following his success aboard Don't Push It in his 15th attempt at winning the Grand National.

He picked up another significant prize at this year's Sports Personality of the Year ceremony in Belfast when he was handed the Lifetime Achievement award.

McCoy was appointed MBE in the 2003 Queen's Birthday Honours and OBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours list.

He is only the second jockey in history to have been awarded a knighthood, with Richards the first in 1953.