Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter has been awarded an BEM for his services to football in Northern Ireland.
The boss, who was notified of the honour only a matter of weeks ago, said he is thrilled to be receiving the accolade as part of the New Year’s Honours List.
Baxter helped Crusaders win their first league title in 19 seasons back in 1995 and has led the club to numerous championships and cup finals since taking over ten years later.
He took over at the club on a full-time basis this year after shutting-up-shop on his retail premises.
He’ll travel to London in the new year to receive his medal.
“To get something like this at a later stage in your life, for all your efforts and all of the things you’ve achieved is very special,” he said.
“Winning championships and local awards is great, but this is the icing on the cake.
“I think we’re a dedicated race. I think as Northern Irish people we try harder and I think that’s why we have the success.
“You need a ‘work-hard’ mentality.”
Other names from the football world included on the list include Rangers and Northern Ireland centre-back Gareth McAuley who receives an MBE and Munich Air Disaster survivor and Manchester United legend Harry Gregg. He’s awarded an OBE.
Credit Piece To Stewart Robson