Treble-winning Blues chief says OBE for Chelsea’s successes on the pitch came as a ‘huge shock’


Emma Hayes described her journey with Chelsea as an ‘unbelievable ride’ after being awarded an OBE for her services to football.

The Kingsmeadow boss was among a number of sports figures included in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Emma Hayes’ OBE comes following Chelsea winning a domestic treble in 2021

The gong for the Blues manager comes five years on from her being made an MBE.

And it caps a trophy-winning year for Hayes whose team sealed a domestic treble in December after their 3-0 triumph over Arsenal in the delayed Women’s FA Cup final.

The Chelsea chief, 44, said: “It was a huge shock to hear I had been awarded an OBE.

“It’s been an unbelievable ride so far, transforming from an amateur outfit to one of the top five clubs in Europe and I hope we’ve helped to pave the way for future generations to come.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support, and I will be forever grateful to each and every one of them.

“It’s an unbelievable honour for me and my family and a privilege I take very seriously.

“I would like to thank everyone who has worked with me across my career.

“I am fortunate and extremely lucky to have represented a fantastic football club and an amazing group of people over these past ten years.”

Hayes’ OBE came in a year that saw Chelsea claim their fourth WSL crown and a second Conti Cup in addition to their third FA Cup.

And the club reached their first-ever Champions League final before being beaten by 4-0 Catalan giants Barcelona.

The Blues also went on a 33-game unbeaten run in the WSL breaking the previous record set by Manchester City in 2017 of 32 matches without a loss.

Their run, which was ended by a home loss to Brighton, saw Hayes named as Barclays WSL Manager of the Season in May.

Former Lionesses captain Sheila Parker was honoured for her services to football

And this came two months before the Camden-born coach, who took charge of Chelsea in 2012, signed a new deal to extend her reign.

Other football figures honoured include Sheila Parker who skippered England Women’s team in their official match in 1972.

The former Preston centre-back, 74, who led the team to a 3-2 win against Scotland that year, has been made an MBE for her services to football and charities.


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