Sarina Wiegman and several England Women stars included in The New Year Honours list 2023
England Women head coach Sarina Wiegman and a number of the players have been recognised in the New Year Honours list 2023.
Wiegman has received an honorary CBE after guiding England Women to their first major trophy at the EURO in the summer.
Captain Leah Williamson has been awarded an OBE and there are MBEs for Lucy Bronze, the EURO’s top goalscorer Beth Mead and England Women’s all-time leading goalscorer Ellen White.
Jawahir Roble, who grew up in war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia and is the first Muslim woman to referee in the UK, has been given an MBE for her services to football and in recognition of the volunteer work she does with the charity Football Beyond Borders.
Brighton and Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber, who also serves on the FA Council and Professional Game Board, has received a OBE for services to football, while there is an MBE for Jo Tongue, the director of Women in Football, in recognition of her services to football and gender equality.
The popular Chris Kamara has been awarded an MBE for services to football and for his anti-racism and charity work.
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Peter Gilham, the player welfare manager at Brentford FC, and Derek Hodge, of Sevenoaks in Kent, have both received BEMs for services to football and their local communities, and in Hodge’s case for his charity work too.
For Wiegman, her honorary CBE rounds off a remarkable year which included continuing her unbeaten start to life as England coach, winning the EURO and being named Coach of the Year at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards last week.
Wiegman said: “I feel very privileged and humbled to have been given such a prestigious honour and would like to dedicate it to the players, the support team and others within The FA who have worked tirelessly for our shared success.
"As I reflect upon this, I would like to thank the fans for the warmth they have shown to me since I joined in 2021, I feel very proud to represent them as England’s head coach.
“I would also like to share my congratulations to Leah, Beth, Ellen and Lucy. Their recognition is a reflection of a brilliant 12 months for the whole squad and the excellent work they all do on and off of the pitch.
“It’s been a wonderful year and as we look ahead to 2023, we hope we can continue to make the country proud.”
The last year has seen Williamson excel in her new role as captain, not only on the pitch but also off it, as she looked to use her platform to try to increase girls’ participation in football and help drive social change.
Williamson said: “It was an honour to be a part of an incredible group of athletes and women and to share the successes of 2022 with them. Standing on the shoulders of those that came before us to inspire the millions that will follow.”
It was also a remarkable year for Mead as she scored six goals and created five assists to help England win the EURO, and became the first women’s footballer to be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
She said: “I am thrilled to be on King Charles' first New Year Honours list. It is such a privilege to be awarded an MBE and my family and I look forward to attending the Palace to receive it.”
It is a sentiment shared by Bronze, who added: “I’m so honoured to be receiving the recognition personally and alongside some of my incredible teammates and all on the honours list.
“It means such a lot and is significant for the growth of women’s football and women’s sport more widely. I can’t wait to continue the progress.”
There were also nine other football-related honours awarded to people from Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Goalkeeping legend Pat Jennings received a CBE and an OBE has been awarded to Wales captain Sophie Ingle.
There were MBEs for Liverpool and Scotland star Andy Robertson, for his services to football, charity and young people, and also for Arsenal Women duo Jen Beattie and Kim Little and Northern Ireland’s Gail Redmond.
And at a grassroots level, there was an MBE for Hillwood Football Club chair William Smith and BEMs for South Wales’ Albert Phillips and Bangor FC vice-president Peter Vannucci.
The FA Chair, Debbie Hewitt MBE, has paid tribute to all of the football family who have received honours and hailed the impact made by Wiegman and her players.
Hewitt said: “I would like to congratulate Sarina, Leah, Beth, Ellen and Lucy on behalf of everyone at The FA. We are delighted that their services to football have been recognised in this way.
“They all played a pivotal role on and off the pitch in a historic year for women’s football and their recognition is wholeheartedly deserved.
“Sarina’s influence since her appointment in 2021 has been remarkable - a 26-game unbeaten run and EURO success are proof of her coaching prowess, and her humility has shone at every step of the team’s journey. Her honour is further testimony to how she has captured the hearts of the English public and we are really proud to be working with her.
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“Leah’s leadership as captain has been so impressive, not only representing her country with distinction but also demonstrating an unwavering commitment to the EURO’s legacy and embracing her role as a custodian of the sport. Her efforts and those of all her teammates are breaking barriers and ensuring that girls will have the opportunities that previous generations have been denied.
“Beth’s, Ellen’s and Lucy’s achievements are plentiful and they have all played a key part in the team’s triumph and also the game’s growth. Watching their performances as elite sportswomen at the very top of their game has given us immense joy and I know this honour will mean a huge amount to them.
“These individual honours are a positive reflection of the whole squad and support team and as this memorable year draws to a close, I would like to voice my thanks and pay tribute to them all.
“I would also like to share my congratulations on behalf of The FA to all those members of the football family who have been awarded honours. Their collective work in either supporting the game’s grassroots, playing an instrumental role in the growth of women’s and girls’ football, maintaining the highest standards in the professional game or charitable work is invaluable and they are very deserving of the recognition they have received.”