Former England footballer Ian Wright among those to collect honours

Former Arsenal and England footballer Ian Wright is set to be made an OBE in an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The 60-year-old, who played professionally between 1985 and 2000, will receive the honour for his services to football and to charity.

Wright has gone on to carve out a successful broadcast career since retiring, both as a TV presenter and football pundit with regular slots on BBC, ITV, and Premier League TV.

Soccer – FA Barclays Premiership – Arsenal v Manchester City – Highbury
Former Arsenal player Ian Wright (Nick Potts/PA)

He was made an MBE in the 2000 New Year Honours shortly after his retirement from playing, and received the Freedom of the City of London earlier this month.

Wright’s career began in Sunday league football while working as a plasterer, before he signed his first professional contract at Crystal Palace aged 21 and went on to score more than 100 times for the club.

He later signed for Arsenal for a then-club record £2.5 million in 1991 and became the team’s all-time top scorer, as well as winning a Premier League title, two FA Cups and one League Cup.

His career also saw short spells at West Ham, Nottingham Forest, Celtic and Burnley before retirement, as well as 33 caps and nine goals for England.

Wright is a passionate advocate of women’s football and supported the Government review of women’s football led by Karen Carney this year.

England Women’s Rugby Union Captain Sarah Hunter will be made a CBE for services to the sport.

Rugby Union – 6 Nations Launch – The Hurlingham Club
England Women’s Rugby Union Captain Sarah Hunter will be made a CBE (Stephen Pond/PA)

The 38-year-old is England’s all-time most capped rugby player with 138, and captained her side at the 2021 Rugby World Cup.

Hunter, who made her England debut in 2007, was named World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year in 2016 and announced her retirement from international rugby earlier this year.

She was made an MBE in the 2015 New Year Honours.