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Former Chelsea star awarded CBE

DEFENDER OF DIVERSITY: Paul Elliott

CHELSEA LEGEND Paul Elliott has been awarded his second honour by the Queen; to follow up his MBE, he now has a CBE for ‘services to equality and diversity in football’.

Since his retirement from football, the defender has become a vocal representative on boards within The Football Association, UEFA and FIFA.

When he spoke exclusively to the Voice of Sport he had only one word to describe the honour: “Fantastic.”

He continued: “It’s a tribute to some of the fantastic organisations and people that I have worked with over the last thirty years. I’m very humbled.”

As well as being the first black footballer to be honoured in this way, Elliott is also the first player from the Premier League to achieve this decoration.

“I think that as a black man and West Indian born- my parents were born in Jamaica - I saw how hard my parents worked. It’s a tribute for them as much as for me.”

The former Celtic and Aston Villa star was also keen to mention those who have helped him professionally since he left the game.

He said: “With the help of people like Lord Herman Ouseley and Gordon Taylor, I have to see it as a collective award. I think it’s not just for my work in this country, but my work internationally. “

Lord Ouseley, chair of Kick It Out, was quick to offer his praise, saying: "This is just and deserved recognition for an individual who has given so much to tackling discrimination in football.

"Domestically, his vocal and articulate campaigning on the need for greater fairness and equality in our national game is well known.

"This award reflects how he has taken this work to an international level and confirms his status as one football's leading voices on these issues."

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