5 footballers who have been knighted
Knighthood is probably the most known honour bestowed upon people by the British monarchy.
In case you’re wondering how people get knighted; do they have to apply for it or contribute something to the monarchy…? Well, according to The Awards Intelligence Service, “A knighthood, and the female equivalent, a damehood, is an award given by the queen to an individual for a major, long-term, contribution in any activity, usually at a national or international level”. Now that we’re clear on what exactly knighthood is, let’s find out which footballers have received the honour.
1.Sir Stanley Matthews
Nicknamed “The Wizard of the Dribble” and “The Magician”, Matthews played football till he was 50-years-old. He is the oldest player ever to play in England’s top football division and the oldest player ever to represent the country. Post-his football career, Matthews travelled around the world coaching young footballers. In 1975, he went to South Africa and established a football team known as “Stan’s Men” despite the apartheid laws during that time. He truly deserves the honour.
2.Sir Bobby Charlton
Charlton helped England win the 1966 FIFA World Cup. During that same year, he also won the Ballon d’Or award. He played as a midfielder for Manchester United, Waterford and Newcastle KB United, to name a few throughout his 30-year career.
Pele was given an honorary knighthood in 1997, however, he can only use the title Sir if he becomes a British citizen. There are also four other non-UK footballers who have also received the British honour; Henrik Larsson, Niall Quinn, Peter Schmeichel and Gianfranco Zola.
4.Sir Geoff Hurst
Hurst is the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final. He played as a forward for West Ham United, Stoke City, Cork Celtic and etc. Upon his retirement, he became a manager-coach. He managed Telford United, Chelsea and Kuwait SC.
5.Sir Alex Ferguson
No introduction needed, Ferguson is known for being a legendary manager rather than a footballer. Ferguson started his career as an amateur with Queen’s Park at the age of 16. After 17 years as a footballer, he decided to retire. Soon after that, at the age of 32, Ferguson was appointed as manager of East Stirlingshire. That is when he started his managerial career.
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