|    July 21st, 2021

HONOURS EVEN

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The honours system has long been the subject of some controversy in this country with gongs having been awarded to a former Prime Minister’s hairdresser, party donors and an array of civil servants for doing what they are paid to do.

During this pandemic some footballers have gone the extra mile to make a huge contribution to society and I hope that in due course they get the state recognition their efforts deserve. Marcus Rashford single-handedly raised £20m, forced a change in Government policy and as result some 600,000 children who might otherwise have gone hungry will now receive free meals. Rashford himself relied on free school meals when he was a child.

Former Chelsea and West Ham star Joe Cole has helped set up a new charity with his wife to help provide equipment and funds for the NHS. Cole has donated £25,000 of his own money to launch, ‘Heroes – Help Them Help Us’, which has helped buy 50 x 3D printers to build thousands of medical visors for frontline NHS staff.

Jose Mourhino has been using his time to volunteer so that elderly people in Enfield have got all the items they need while they stay indoors. The Spurs boss has been putting together care packages at Age UK. Pep Guardiola has donated £920,000 to help provide medical equipment in the fight against coronavirus in Spain.

Wilfried Zaha, the Crystal Palace forward, offered 50 properties through his property company for the free use of NHS staff. Liverpool full back Andy Roberston made a significant donation to run six foodbanks in his native Glasgow providing more than 50,000 meals for the poorest in our society.

Additionally, the Liverpool first team squad has so far donated £40,000 to foodbanks. Spurs defender Toby Alderwiereld donated iPad’s so victims of the virus could keep in touch with their relatives when no visiting is allowed. Leicester City goalkeeper Schmeichel made a £20,000 donation to Age UK as the charity launched a Covid Care initiative in Leicester.

Last Friday saw the loss of a football legend in Jack Charlton and it still makes no sense to me that every player in the 1966 World Cup winning team has failed to receive the ultimate honour of a knighthood which is the recognition they all deserve. Football is a team game and success at the highest level is the result of all the component parts of the team being right and you cannot single out any individuals. Of the starting eleven from that magical day in 1966, Gordon Banks, Bobby Moore, Alan Ball, Martin Peters and now Jack Charlton are sadly no longer with us. Bobby Charlton and Geoff Hurst were knighted but George Cohen, Ray Wilson, Nobby Stiles and Roger Hunt have not received the ultimate recognition.

The honours system should be honouring those in football that make a difference to all our lives and it is also time to do the right thing for the boys of 1966.

Peter Varney – Chairman, Integral Sports Management

For more information, please contact enquiries@integralsportsmanagement.co.uk

Image from Getty Images.

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