Legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh was honoured for his services to sports at a special event at the House of Lords.
House of Lords member and NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul presented the honour to 'The Flying Sikh', who is in London on a promotional tour for an upcoming movie based on his life story.
"We wanted to honour him and let him know that we are very proud of what he has achieved. I am very glad that Bollywood has decided to make a film on him. His story will inspire a new generation of young athletes who can see how a boy from an ordinary family went on to make global headlines," Lord Paul told PTI.
77-year-old Milkha Singh later visited the famous Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara in Southall, the predominantly Sikh suburb of London. There he met Fauja Singh - the world's oldest marathon runner at 102 years of age.
The local Sikh community turned out in full force to meet the sporting icon who inspired UK-based Fauja Singh to start his own exciting marathon career.
'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag', which releases worldwide on July 12, traces the story of Milkha's life through the vagaries of partition of India in 1947, during which his family was brutally killed, to a life of petty crime and on to competitive sport.
"I think every generation needs reference points and Milkha Singh's life is a great reference point for young people. His life can be a blueprint at some level - that it can never get tougher than this. There is a sense of hope and optimism throughout the film," said actor Farhan Akhtar, who plays Milkha Singh on screen.
While in the UK, Milka Singh will also lead the 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' team, including the lead actors Farhan and Sonam Kapoor, at a gala screening at Mayfair Hotel in central London today.
The special guests expected on the red carpet includes cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Olympic sprinter Linford Christie.
"This is not about his gold medal (1958 Commonwealth Games). It is about a lost childhood and the sheer need to live life to the fullest. We all know about the legend but the film explores how he may have lost an important race but won in life," said director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra ahead of the event.