open menulivescore

Evans was shocked to learn of 'amazing' honour
Copy icon

PA Sport staff
Press Association
Jonny Evans has been made an MBE (Michael Regan/PA)
Jonny Evans has been made an MBE (Michael Regan/PA)

Northern Ireland centurion Jonny Evans is full of pride after becoming an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours list.

The 35-year-old Leicester defender, who had won 100 caps for his country heading into this month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers, is one of a number of people from the world of football to be recognised.

Former Rangers captain John Greig becomes a CBE, ex-Arsenal, Crystal Palace and England forward Ian Wright was made an OBE while former Chelsea and England forward Eniola Aluko becomes an MBE.

Evans said: “When I got the letter through the door and it had the royal seal on the back I was a bit shocked, but it was also amazing.

“It made me feel very proud, especially when I saw that it was in recognition of my contribution to association football in Northern Ireland.

“It brought it home that playing more than 100 times for my country, and playing for so long for Northern Ireland, has been so good. I represented everyone in the country and had many good times along the way.”

Evans is already excited by the prospect of the investiture ceremony, on a date to be confirmed.

“It will be a really special day and one that we will really enjoy,” he added.

Wright becomes an OBE for services to football and charity.

He was a late developer and did not sign professionally until the age of 21 with Palace, having been playing in non-league for Dulwich Hamlet.

He scored a post-war record 117 goals for the Eagles and scored twice for them in a 3-3 draw against Manchester United in the 1990 FA Cup final, before the London club were beaten 1-0 in the replay.

He enjoyed even greater success at Arsenal after signing for them in 1991, finishing as the Gunners’ top scorer for six seasons in a row and scoring 185 goals for the club in total – a figure only surpassed by Thierry Henry.

Since retiring in 2000, Wright has become a regular and popular pundit on Match of the Day and on ITV’s coverage of the England men’s and women’s teams.

He has spoken powerfully about racism in football and last summer during the Women’s Euros added his voice for the calls for girls to be given equal access to the sport at school.

Aluko won 102 caps for the Lionesses during her playing career, having started out at Birmingham in 2001. She was part of the Chelsea squad which won the 2015, 2017 and 2018 Women’s Super League titles and the 2015 and 2018 FA Cup.

She was part of the Lionesses team which reached the final of the 2009 Euros, and a key component of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics.

Since her retirement, she has worked in director roles at Aston Villa and Angel City in the American National Women’s Soccer League, as well as a television pundit.

Greig’s CBE is recognition of an incredible career with Rangers, in which he won five league titles and six Scottish Cups, captained them to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972 and was voted by supporters as “The Greatest Ever Ranger” in 1999.

Also recognised is referee Amy Fearn, who in 2010 became the first woman to referee an EFL match when she took over officiating duties for the final 20 minutes of the game between Coventry and Nottingham Forest.

Fearn, who also became the first woman to referee in the men’s FA Cup first round in 2013, said: “It’s all a little bit surreal but all very nice at the same time.

“I got a letter through the post about a month ago to say that I had been nominated and would I like to accept it. My initial reaction was, who was winding me up?!

“The letter was totally out of the blue. When you make the phone call to confirm everything, I asked who it was that had nominated me but they said they couldn’t tell me.

“For someone to take the time to nominate me and go to this much effort is very nice and touching.”


Northern IrelandLeicester CityChampionshipJonny Evans
LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Footbal Scores & Sports News

App storeGoogle play