Harborough’s golden hero Dylan Fletcher receives his MBE at Buckingham Palace

Dylan, who attended Robert Smyth Academy, was awarded the prestigious accolade at the palace in front of his proud parents

By Red Williams
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 10:44 am
Dylan was awarded the prestigious accolade at the palace as his proud parents Jane and Graham went along to celebrate the extra-special royal day out with him.
Dylan was awarded the prestigious accolade at the palace as his proud parents Jane and Graham went along to celebrate the extra-special royal day out with him.

Market Harborough’s golden hero Dylan Fletcher was thrilled to receive his MBE at Buckingham Palace – as the brilliant competitor retired from Olympic sailing.

Dylan, 34, was awarded the prestigious accolade at the palace as his proud parents Jane, 63, and Graham, 70, went along to celebrate the extra-special royal day out with him.

The sailor was honoured after he famously struck gold with his team-mate Stuart Bithell, 35, in a heart-stopping finish to the 49er class at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last August.

Dylan’s beaming mum Jane, of Market Harborough, told us: “It was a fantastic day and we’re all very proud of Dylan and what he has achieved over the years.

“Dylan couldn’t believe it when he was told that he had been awarded the MBE.

“He’s very humble and now he’s looking forward to a very exciting future with a lot of pro sailing lined up,” said Jane, who runs her own Pilates classes in Market Harborough.

Dylan, who attended Robert Smyth Academy in Market Harborough, said: “It’s been an incredible journey with the British Sailing Team.

“After Tokyo I knew I had to give it another push for Paris (the 2024 Olympics) but unfortunately it just was not meant to be this time.

“I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone that has been part of my campaign at the British Sailing Team.

“We are so lucky to have an amazing support team and Tokyo really was on another level,” said the world-class sailor, who was also handed the very rare honour of the freedom of Harborough district last December.

“Time to sign out and pass the baton.”

Dylan spoke to the Harborough Mail after flying back to the UK days after his epic Tokyo triumph almost a year ago.

“It’s just incredible.

“I’ve not stopped since winning – and it’s just not sunk in yet.

“I told my mum and dad that I’d win an Olympic gold medal one day when I was just 13,” said the keen photographer and snowboarder.

“And now I’ve finally done it!

“It is just amazing, the best ever feeling.”

Dylan said he was overjoyed to see his parents Jane and Graham and his nan Hannah Scott and other loved ones after touching down at Heathrow as he saluted his family.

“I owe my parents everything.

“They have been absolutely instrumental in helping me win this gold.

“And this medal is as much for them as it is for me,” said Dylan, who married his fiancée Charlotte Dobson, 35, a fellow Olympic sailor, just 23 days after striking gold in Tokyo.

“Mum and dad drove me all over the UK to take part in events as well as overseas.

“They missed holidays to help me fulfil my Olympic dream – and I can’t thank them enough.

“I wouldn’t be sitting here with this gold medal without their help and support.

“I’d also like to thank Chris Wright, one of my coaches at Northampton Sailing Club at Pitsford Reservoir.

“He got me into racing 20 years ago and has played such a huge part in making me the racing sailor I am today.”