Roy Hodgson says CBE is ‘ultimate accolade’

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Watford FC manager and former England boss Roy Hodgson has said being made a CBE is the “ultimate accolade”.

The 74-year-old picked up his honour for services to football from the Duke of Cambridge during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.

Speaking afterwards, Hodgson said he was “very honoured to know that (he’s) been recognised in this way”.

The football manager said he and William spoke about football as he collected the award, describing it as a “clear topic of conversation that interests us both”.

On the best moments in his career, he said: “I think there had been two really.

“One was being appointed manager of England because, after a long spell as a club coach or a national team coach in other countries, to be appointed as manager for your only country – that was a major moment in my football career, in my life.

“And then, of course, this one comes closely afterwards.

Roy Hodgson with William
Roy Hodgson with William (Yui Mok/PA)

“I think when you are recognised by your country for services to the sport that you’ve loved and served, I think you’ve got to regard that as the ultimate accolade.”

Hodgson said Watford’s recent slide towards relegation was a “very sad moment”, adding: “I’m disappointed that we couldn’t help the club out of the situation they were in when we came and they’ve paid the price now of being relegated.”

Others collecting awards included radio presenter Simon Mayo and Paralympians Chris Ryan and Thomas Young.

Mayo, who was made an MBE for services to radio, called the day an “amazing experience” and “a thrill”.

Simon Mayo
Simon Mayo (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

He said: “I suspect most people, when they come in for an award, they think, ‘Do I really deserve this?’

“I think I felt a lot of imposter syndrome, thinking other people should be here but they’re not.”

He added that William said he would listen out for hits on Radio 1 like Insomnia by Faithless and Groovejet by Killer, before describing himself as a “secret clubber”.

Wheelchair basketball player Ryan, 30, was part of the GB team that won gold at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021 and have since been made MBEs for services to the sport.

After collecting his award, he said: “It’s obviously probably the biggest honour I’ve ever had and probably will get, so it’s something to cherish for me, to celebrate and always be proud of.

“To get recognised like that is just amazing really.”

Thomas Young
Thomas Young (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

On what it means for the sport, he said: “Obviously it’s a problem we face with Paralympic sport, but success does always breed popularity and exposure, so I mean it’s massive – to have MBE after our names is incredible.”

Young, who won the gold medal in the men’s 100 metres T38 event in Tokyo, said: “It means so much, just to get this award – one of the biggest awards in the country’s history is just an unbelievable moment and is really surreal.”

To aspiring Paralympians, he said: “Everyone is born a champion and never give up and have fun as well.”

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