• Former Scotland chief Craig Brown ‘unstinting devotion’ acknowledgement to Brian Thomas McLeod after award of BEM in The Queen’s new year’s honours list

By Andrew Atkinson Leader EXCLUSIVE

CRAIG Brown, awarded a CBE in 1999, has praised fellow Glaswegian Brian Thomas McLeod for his ‘unstinting devotion’ after being acknowledged in The Queen’s new year’s honours list with a BEM.

“It ’s great to see the unstinting devotion of Brian being acknowledged in the Queen’s Honours list,” Craig, 79, told me.

Entertainer Brian, was awarded the BEM, following decades of fundraising for charities.

Brian, whose stage name is Stevie Spit, took his drag act to Kabul – putting his life at risk – to raise thousands of dollars for local causes in the war-torn country.

“Putting his own life at risk to raise money for youngsters in Afghanistan is indeed most worthy of Her Majesty’s acclaim,” said Craig, 79, awarded a CBE for his services to football two decades ago.

Brian, who entered Afghanistan, despite the activities of the Taliban, said: “I was flitting in and out of Afghanistan.

“I entered under the radar of the Taliban to raise desperately needed funds for war-torn children.

“I never dreamed in a million years it would lead to me being awarded a BEM.”

The Elche Childrens Care Home is one beneficiary from Brian’s charity work, having help raise tens of thousands of euros.

“I’m feeling very honoured to be recognised. To be noticed by The Queen in appointing me with a British Empire Medal,” said Brian.

“It is one of the proudest days of my life. To be awarded a British Empire Medal is a ‘Oh, My God’ moment.

“There are so many people to thank, including Dr Gran in Afghanistan, Elche Childrens Care Home, the RBL and AECC,” said Brian.

“We have done so much together. It’s not me alone. I’m just the face at the front of so many caring people,” said Brian.

Caption: Craig gives the thumbs up to Stevie after award of BEM in The Queen’s new year’s honours list.

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