The FA's Hope Powell received her OBE honour from HM The Queen at Buckingham Pal
The FA's Hope Powell received her OBE honour from HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace this morning. The National Women's Coach picked up the award, as her close family watched on at the Palace...
Powell, full-time National Women's Coach since 1998, was awarded an OBE in the Queen's birthday honours list in the summer for her services to football and women's sport.
Powell said: "Obviously I am proud to receive the OBE and it is a great honour for women's football. I believe that this award is not just for me, but for all those who have supported me. There were people from all walks of life attending today and I was very proud to be there to meet the Queen."
Hope Powell is a former England international, having won 66 caps and scored 35 goals in a career that spanned from the age of 15 through to her retirement when she was appointed National Women's Coach at The FA in 1998. Powell made her debut at 11 years old for Millwall Lionesses and went on to win The FA Cup twice.
As National Coach, she not only manages the Senior women's team but also oversees the Under-19s, Under-17s and Under-15s development pool and the National Player Development Centre at Loughborough as well as implementing a female coach mentoring scheme.
Here, Powell explains exclusively to TheFA.com explains all about her visit to the Palace.
"I arrived at Buckingham Palace at 10 o'clock this morning along with my mother, brother and my close friend Alan May - who used to coach me when I played for Millwall Lionesses as an 11-year-old.
"We were shown through the courtyard, then I was separated from my family. The guests were put into groups according to which award they were receiving and then we were told what we had to do.
"When the person in front of me received their award, I went into the main hall where the ceremony was taking place and that's where my family were sitting.
"When my name was called, I had to turn to face her majesty, curtsey and then go forward to collect my OBE. Her majesty said women's football was an unusual honour and asked how I had got involved. I wanted to point to Alan May to tell her he was the coach that got me involved, but I thought better of it!
"I told her that I just enjoyed playing football and that I had been involved for 20 years. She told me that I had made a marvellous achievement. She then shook my hand, I curtseyed, did an about-turn and walked back to my family.
"There were a lot of people there getting awards, although I think I was the only one there for sport. There were people from the armed forces and performing arts fields. Everyone was very nice and chatty, although quite a few people were nervous."
The visit to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday was a double celebration for Powell, who celebrated her 36th birthday on Sunday.