Rachel Yankey has been recognised in the New Year Honours list for a second time.
After being awarded an MBE in 2005, the England international follows Arsenal Ladies general manager Vic Akers in receiving an OBE for services to the women’s game.
Yankey has enjoyed a fantastic year. She broke Peter Shilton's record of 125 England appearances in June to become the Three Lions’ most-capped player ever. For Arsenal, she helped the team to an FA Cup and Continental Cup double, as well as a place in the semi finals of the Champions League.
Away from her playing career, Yankey has worked tirelessly to promote the game at youth level, running her own football programme and a community club and mentoring young players.
“This very special award means a great deal to me, and I’m incredibly proud to have my work on and off the pitch recognised in this way," she said.
“I have to say I owe Arsenal a great deal, for kickstarting my coaching and playing career. I started out as an Arsenal in the Community trainee, which is where my love of coaching and working with children began.
"As an Arsenal Ladies player, I have been lucky enough to play with some of the best players in the country and helped contribute to the Club’s unbelievable history.
“To be recognised for my youth work too, with the Rachel Yankey Football Programme, my community football team Gibbons Wrecker Youth FC and the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust, is totally humbling.”
Everyone at Arsenal Football Club would like to congratulate Rachel on her achievement.