A former charity chief executive was left speechless when he learned he would be made an MBE in the King's Birthday Honours.

Martin Berliner from Watlington, near King's Lynn, has been honoured for his services to the Jewish Community.

"I am overwhelmed by the honour awarded to me," he said. "I was speechless on receiving the letter from the Cabinet Office.

"My first thought was of my late parents - I so wish I could share this moment with them and to thank them for all their love and support along the way."

Mr Berliner, 63, was chief executive of Maccabi GB from August 2000 - January 2020. 

Martin Berliner with his wife Judith at the 2013 Maccabiah World Games in JerusalemMartin Berliner with his wife Judith at the 2013 Maccabiah World Games in Jerusalem (Image: Marc Morris)

The London-based charity delivers sporting, educational and social events for the Jewish community and is part of a global movement operating in more than 70 countries.

"I am delighted that the work Maccabi GB delivers has been recognised in this way," said Mr Berliner.

"The work the Maccabi Movement does in Great Britain didn't start with me and didn't end with my retirement. Long may the organisation continue to go from strength to strength.

"I have worked with some wonderful people in our professional teams over the years all who have pushed me to be the best that I can be every day. 

"We set out to make a difference and collectively we have done this and I have no doubt that the Organisation will continue to do so in the future."

Mr Berliner is currently chief executive officer of Maccabi Europe. He settled in Watlington with his wife Judith, who he describes as  "my rock and greatest supporter".

"We assimilated fairly quickly," he said. "I'm on the parish council, I'm a school governor.

"We're doers, we like to do things - we really enjoy living in Norfolk."