A PE teacher who swapped her ballet shoes for rugby boots has been to Buckingham Palace to receive an honour from the Queen.

Honorary president of the Rugby Football Union for Women, Gillian Burns of Prescot was awarded an MBE for her services to sport at Buckingham Palace last Wednesday.

Gillian, former England women's captain played rugby for England over 14 seasons, from 1988-2002, but as a child she was a keen ballet dancer under the guidance of mum Ann.

She is now a PE teacher at Range High School in Formby and the first female president of her former club Waterloo RFC.

Gillian said: "Captaining the England team was a massive honour in itself but you never expect to receive anything like this.

"I am also delighted because the MBE shows that the government and the country are recognising women's rugby in today's sporting world."

Gillian was accompanied at the palace by her mother who has also been recognised earlier by the Queen for services to dancing and charity work in the community and her father.

Mrs Ann Burns said: "My husband Ron and I went down to London with Gill and we all had a lovely day."

"I used to run the Winburn School of Dancing in Prescot, Eccleston and Rainford and I had been lucky enough to attend a garden party at the palace in 1995.

"Our trip was a very special occasion indeed."