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Football Personalities Who Received a KnightHood
The football world is full of good people and bad, heroes and villains, gods and devils, vegetarians to man-eaters(not Suarez). Some of these good people have given so much back to the society that they were awarded with one of the most prestigious awards in the world. Here is a list of footballers to receive the title of 'Sir'.
Also, don't forget to take part in the poll at the end - Who would be the next footba to receive a knighthood?
Sir Dave Richards
Knighted In: Jun 2006
Sir Dave Richards is the chairman of the FA Premier League, member of the Football Association (FA)'s Board, chairman of the FA's international committee, president of the European Professional Football Leagues organisation, chairman of UEFA's Professional Football Committee and former chairman of Sheffield Wednesday F.C.
Richards was made chairman of the Premier League in 1999 and left Sheffield Wednesday shortly afterwards with the club facing relegation from the Premiership. He succeeded Lord Pendry as chairman of the Football Foundation in March 2003, and left the post in 2008.
In 2006 Richards received a knighthood for services to sport. At the time of his knighthood the Sports Minister was Richard Caborn.
Sir Trevor Brooking
Knighted In: Jun 2004
Sir Trevor David Brooking, CBE is a former England international footballer, manager, pundit and football administrator; he now works as director of football development in England.
He played most of his career for West Ham United making 647 appearances for the club. He won the 1975 FA Cup and the 1980 FA Cup in which he scored the only goal. He was also the club's player of the season on four occasions and caretaker manager on two occasions in 2003. Brooking played 47 times for England, scoring five times.
He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1981, elevated to Commander of same order (CBE) in 1999, and knighted in 2004. In 2009 a stand at Upton Park was named after Brooking.
Sir Bobby Robson
Knighted In: Jun 2002
Sir Robert William Robson, CBE was an English footballer and football manager. His career included periods playing for and later managing the England national team.
Robson's professional playing career as an inside-forward spanned nearly 20 years, during which he played for three clubs: Fulham, West Bromwich Albion, and, briefly, Vancouver Royals. He also made 20 appearances for England, scoring four goals. After his playing career he found success as both a club and international manager, winning league championships in both the Netherlands and Portugal, earning trophies in England and Spain, and taking England to the semi-final of the 1990 World Cup, which remains the national team's best run in a World Cup since 1966. His last management role was as a mentor to the manager of the Irish national football team.
Robson was created a Knight Bachelor in 2002, was inducted as a member of the English Football Hall of Fame in 2003, and was the honorary president of Ipswich Town.
Sir Alex Ferguson
Knighted In: Jun 1999
Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson, CBE is a former Scottish football manager and player who managed Manchester United from 1986 to 2013. He is regarded by many players, managers and analysts to be one of the greatest and most successful managers of all time.
Ferguson played as a forward for several Scottish clubs, including Dunfermline Athletic and Rangers. Towards the end of his playing career he also worked as a coach, then started his managerial career with East Stirlingshire and St Mirren. Ferguson then enjoyed a highly successful period as manager of Aberdeen, winning three Scottish league championships, four Scottish Cups and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1983. He briefly managed Scotland following the death of Jock Stein, taking the team to the 1986 World Cup. Ferguson was appointed manager of Manchester United in November 1986. During his 26 years with Manchester United he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two UEFA Champions League titles.
He was knighted in the 1999 Queen's Birthday Honours list, for his services to the game.
Do you think Sir Alex Ferguson is the best manager in football ever?
Sir Geoff Hurst
Knighted In: Jun 1998
Sir Geoffrey Charles Hurst, MBE is a former England international footballer. A striker, he remains the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final as England recorded a 4–2 victory over West Germany at the old Wembley in 1966.
In 2003 Hurst was included in The Champions, a statue of 1966 World Cup winning footballers, by sculptor Philip Jackson. It sits at the junctions of Barking Road and Central Park Road, Newham, London, near to West Ham United's Boleyn Ground and features Martin Peters, Hurst, Bobby Moore and Ray Wilson. Hurst's contribution to the English game was recognised in 2004 when he was inducted in the English Football Hall of Fame. Hurst is also one of the few footballers who have been knighted.
A new statue of Geoff Hurst by Sculpture for Sport was unveiled outside local club Curzon Ashton in December 2010. He is shown alongside fellow 1966 squad member Jimmy Armfield and Simone Perrotta, all World Cup medal winners born in what later became the borough of Tameside whose council commissioned the work.
Sir Tom Finney
Knighted In: Jan 1998
Sir Thomas Finney, CBE was an English footballer, famous for his loyalty to his League club, Preston North End, for whom he made 569 first-class appearances, and for his performances in the England national side.
The Football Association called him "one of England's all-time greatest players”, while fellow England player Bobby Charlton said Finney's contributions to football were "immeasurable". Former team-mate and Liverpool manager, Bill Shankly, had called him "the greatest player to ever play the game" while Stanley Matthews once compared him to Diego Maradona, Pelé, George Best and Alfredo Di Stéfano.
For his charitable work, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1961 New Year Honours and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1992 New Year Honours and was knighted in the 1998 New Year Honours.
Sir Bobby Charlton
Knighted In: Jun 1994
Sir Robert Charlton, CBE is an English former football player, regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time, and an essential member of the England team who won the World Cup in 1966, the year he also won the Ballon d'Or. He played almost all of his club football at Manchester United, where he became renowned for his attacking instincts and passing abilities from midfield and his ferocious long-range shot. He was also well known for his fitness and stamina.
He received a knighthood in 1994 and was an Inaugural Inductee to the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002. On accepting his award he commented "I'm really proud to be included in the National Football Museum's Hall of Fame. It's a great honour. If you look at the names included I have to say I couldn't argue with them. They are all great players and people I would love to have played with." He is also the (honorary) president of the National Football Museum, an organisation about which he said "I can't think of a better Museum anywhere in the world."
Sir Bert Millichip
Knighted In: Jun 1991
Sir Frederick Albert Millichip was an English association footballer best known for his sometimes controversial contributions to the administration of the game.
Raised in the West Midlands and educated at Solihull School in Solihull, Millichip played for the third team of West Bromwich Albion in the years before World War II. During the war, he served in North Africa, Canada, Sicily and Italy, rising from an enlisted man to the rank of captain.
On demobilisation in 1945, he returned to his solicitor's practice and became a director of West Bromwich Albion. He took on the role of chairman in 1974 when the club was failing to make progress in the Second Division under manager Don Howe. Under Millichip's chairmanship, the club re-established itself in the First Division and recruited talented and energetic manager Ron Atkinson, building a team that was among the most exciting in English football circa 1980. It was during this time that West Bromwich Albion were the first club to field simultaneously three black players. The young talented three, Brendon Batson, Laurie Cunningham and Cyrille Regis, made a huge impression and became known as the Three Degrees, in comparison to the vocal trio of the same name.
He is also known for being a football official once awarded the FIFA Order of Merit Award.
Sir Walter Winterbottom
Knighted In: Jan 1978
Sir Walter Winterbottom, CBE was the first manager of the England football team (1946–1962) and FA Director of Coaching.
Winterbottom led England to four consecutive World Cup finals, a record subsequently equalled only by Helmut Schön of West Germany. He resigned from the FA in 1962 to become General Secretary of the Central Council of Physical Recreation (CCPR) and was appointed as the first Director of the Sports Council in 1965.
He was knighted for his services to sport in 1978 when he retired. The Football Association marked the 100th anniversary of Winterbottom’s birth by commissioning a bust which was unveiled by Roy Hodgson at St Georges Park on 23 April 2013 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of English football.
Sir Matt Busby
Knighted In: Jun 1968
Sir Alexander Matthew Busby, CBE, KCSG was a Scottish football player and manager, who managed Manchester United between 1945 and 1969 and again for the second half of the 1970–71 season. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time. His managerial records and longevity at the helm of Manchester United are surpassed only by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Before going into management, Busby was a player for two of Manchester United's greatest rivals, Manchester City and Liverpool. During his time at City, Busby played in two FA Cup Finals, winning one of them. After his playing career was interrupted by the Second World War, Busby was offered the job of assistant coach at Liverpool, but they were unwilling to give him the control over the first team that he wanted. As a result, he took the vacant manager's job at Manchester United instead, where he built the famous Busby Babes team. In a total of 25 years with the club, he won 13 trophies.
Who was the better manager?
Sir Alf Ramsey
Knighted In: Jan 1967
Sir Alfred Ernest Ramsey was an English footballer and manager who, as manager of the England national football team from 1963 to 1974, guided England to victory in the 1966 FIFA World Cup.
Knighted in 1967 in recognition of England's World Cup win, Ramsey also managed England to third place in the 1968 European Championship and the quarter-finals of the 1970 World Cup and the 1972 European Championship respectively. As a player, Ramsey was a defender and a member of England's 1950 World Cup squad.
Ramsey was made an inaugural inductee of the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of his impact on the English game as a manager. He became the only person to be inducted twice when, in 2010, he was included in the Hall of Fame as a player as well as a manager.
Sir Stanley Matthews
Knighted In: Jan 1965
Sir Stanley Matthews, CBE was an English footballer. Often regarded as one of the greatest players of the British game, he is the only player to have been knighted while still playing football, as well as being the first winner of both the European Footballer of the Year and the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year awards. Matthews' nicknames included "The Wizard of the Dribble" and "The Magician".
On 1 January 1965 he became the only footballer to ever be knighted (for services to football) whilst still an active professional player; though he never thought himself worthy of such an honour.
Matthews was also the oldest player ever to play in England's top football division and the oldest player ever to represent the country. He was also an inaugural inductee to the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 to honour his contribution to the English game.
Sir Stanley Rous
Knighted In: Jan 1949
Sir Stanley Ford Rous, CBE was the 6th President of FIFA, serving from 1961 to 1974. He also served as secretary of the Football Association from 1934 to 1962 and was an international referee.
He was appointed CBE in 1943 and knighted in 1949. Rous had Rous Cup named after him, as well as the Rous Stand at Watford F.C.'s Vicarage Road ground, until being renamed the Graham Taylor Stand in 2014.
Sir John Charles Clegg
Knighted In: June 1927
Sir John Charles Clegg (15 June 1850 – 26 June 1937), better known as Charles Clegg, was an English footballer and later both chairman and president of the Football Association. He was born in Sheffield and lived there his whole life. He competed in the first international match between England and Scotland in 1872. He was the older brother of William Clegg, whom he played both with and against.
He was knighted by King George V in 1927. Although the citation did not mention football, he is generally regarded as the first person to receive a knighthood for services to football.
He became heavily involved in local football serving as chairman and president of both Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United. He was also one of the founders of the latter. He played a critical role in merging the two competing Sheffield football associations into the Sheffield and Hallamshire Football Association, of which he then became chairman. During his reign in charge of the FA he became known as the Napoleon of Football.