Coach with the golden touch Ian Coley needs no introduction to Clay Shooting readers but he got an extra special handshake recently – from Her Majesty the Queen.
The man famous for spotting two golden talents – Olympic gold medallists Richard Faulds and Peter Wilson – got his big moment at Windsor Castle when the Queen finally handed him his MBE.
Mr Coley first knew he had been awarded the MBE for his services to the sport in November last year but he had to wait until 10 April for his big day – and it was worth the wait, as he got to chat to the Queen herself.
Mr Coley said it was a special moment and he got to talk for about a minute with Her Majesty, who showed great interest in shooting and Mr Coley’s involvement in the sport.
Ian’s meeting with the monarch has made him waver even more on his pre-2012 vow to step down from his long-held post as GB head coach.
The dramatic gold win by Peter Wilson – who was also awarded an MBE – saw Ian’s decision to retire thrown into question, and after meeting the Queen he may rethink it altogether, especially given the tantalising possibility of winning more golds in Rio.
Meanwhile there was another top honour for Ian – a CPSA Special Contribution Award, which he received at a glittering annual awards ceremony on 23 March.
Ian was recognised as the foremost and most successful British shooting coach of modern times, not only having ‘discovered’ Faulds and Wilson and led the teams that have clinched three Olympic medals in the last four games but also having built a highly successful shooting ground and business from scratch.