Former Newcastle United hero John Beresford is made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours

Former Newcastle United defender John Beresford has received an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for his work in fighting racism.

Saturday, 17th June 2017, 12:40 pm
Updated Monday, 19th June 2017, 11:57 am
Former Newcastle player John Beresford, pictured right with ex-Southampton team-mate David Hirst, has received an MBE.

Mr Beresford, who had a six-year stint at Newcastle United between 1992-98, has been an inspirational role model in using his profile for the greater good.

His nomination called Mr Beresford, 50, a "pioneer in anti-racism work", adding: “Mr Beresford was the first white footballer to get involved in the Show Racism the Red Card campaign,

working with schools and colleges to address racism in society and sport.”

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He was part of the organisation’s first school visit in 1996 while still a player and has been "instrumental" in its growth to now work with more than 50,000 young people every year.

“His commitment to educate goes beyond the classroom as having seen the power professional footballers hold as role models,” the nomination said.

“He played a leading role in spreading positive messages throughout the professional game and is recognised as being pivotal in increasing the number of professional footballers who

now dedicate their time to tackling racism and other forms of discrimination, particularly by going into schools.”

Proud Mr Beresford, 50, who has returned to live in his native Sheffield, played down the honour by saying there were people that deserved the famous three-letter suffix far more than him.

He admitted he was "chuffed and delighted" to be recognised, adding: “There are much more worthy people.”

Mr Beresford mainly played left-back for Newcastle and also appeared for Barnsley, Portsmouth and Southampton before injury curtailed his successful career.