Sunderland legend Niall Quinn is to receive an honourary MBE for “outstanding services to international football and his contributions to United Kingdom charities”.
When Niall announced last year that 100% of the money raised from his testimonial match – would be handed to charities in Sunderland, Dublin and overseas, many people said that he should receive some sort of honour for his decision; and now that has become a reality.
Quinny will receive his award from the British Ambassador to Ireland at a ceremony in Dublin this Wednesday.
A spokesperson at the British Embassy in Ireland said “Niall Quinn’s initiative of donating the proceeds from his testimonial match between Sunderland and Ireland last year to children’s charities led to his idea being adopted by a number of other players.”
At the time of Quinny’s testimonial, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, “It is absolutely typical of the individual. In circumstances where people in sport often get a lot of bad publicity, this is an example we can hold up to everybody.”
Honorary awards are presented on merit to non-British citizens by the Queen on the advice of the Foreign Office to people reckoned to have made an important contributions to British interests.
Niall donated a large share of the £1m from his testimonial match to Sunderland Royal Hospital and also to Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in County Dublin, but he is also a patron of the Glass Slipper Appeal which raises money for hospitals in the Sunderland area, which raises money to treat sufferers of breast cancer.