ONE of Worcester’s great citizens has had his remarkable contribution to the community recognised with a CBE.

Cecil Duckworth, who single-handedly founded the small heating business that has grown to become Worcester Bosch before overseeing Worcester Warriors’ remarkable rise to the highest echelons of English rugby, is one of the highest profile figures in the county to be named in today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

The self-made millionaire first came to Worcester as an apprentice in the early 1950s and soon started his fledgling firm Worcester Heat Systems.

In 1997, he began an all-consuming financial and personal involvement with the city’s rugby club which would see the Warriors complete a remarkable rise through six divisions into the top tier of English rugby.

His CBE for services to charity and to the community in Worcestershire follows the OBE he received several years ago for services to rugby and the community.

Mr Duckworth is one of the original benefactors of the city’s Acorns Children’s Hospice.

He is also founder of the Duckworth Trust which is dedicated to relieving poverty among Worcestershire’s disadvantaged people and the conservation and enhancement of the county’s environment.

The 74-year-old said news of his latest honour came as a huge surprise, but that he was delighted.

“I didn’t get involved with the rugby club, the trust or Acorns to get awards, but of course it is very nice for me to get the recognition,” said Mr Duckworth.