Following the announcement of the Queen’s Birthday’s Honours list, we are delighted by the inclusion of two employees working within the women’s game.
Kelly Simmons, our director of women’s professional game, has been awarded an OBE for services to Women’s Football, whilst our head of women’s performance, David Faulkner receives an MBE for services to Sport.
Simmons, who will celebrate 30 years with the FA this December, has overseen significant change within the women’s professional game since taking on her role in 2018, including the professionalisation of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, and a new broadcast deal with Sky Sports and the BBC.
Women’s football in England has never been in a stronger position, and working alongside the likes of our director of the women’s game, Baroness Sue Campbell, Simmons has helped develop one of the leading league competitions in world football, as well as attracting new audiences, media coverage and commercial partners.
Faulkner joined the FA in 2017 from one of the UK’s leading independent schools, Millfield, where he held the role of director of sport. Prior to that, he was performance director with England Hockey.
He has overseen major developments in both the domestic and international women’s game since joining, and played an integral part in leading the implementation of COVID-19 processes and protocols last season, to allow for the completion of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship.
The recommendations for the honours are made by the Prime Minister on the advice of the independent Main Honours Committee following an independent assessment process.
On receiving the honour, Kelly Simmons OBE said: “I’m incredibly humbled to have received an OBE as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, but I very much accept this on behalf of my team.
“I honestly thought someone was joking when I was told I was being honoured, but this is very much testament to the work and dedication of so many that have propelled the women’s game to where it is now.
“I get to work with some incredibly talented people in my role, and it is their passion and commitment that really makes this accolade all the more satisfying – because this is a result of our hard work.
“I’d like to thank all those that make my job the pleasure that it is, both within the FA and externally, and I look forward to what’s ahead for the women’s professional game, with some really exciting developments on the horizon.”
David Faulkner MBE added: “I'm truly honoured to receive an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. I've always seen my role as working quietly behind the scenes to support the athletes and staff I have been so privileged to work with, so to receive such recognition is very humbling indeed.
“My roles within sport have been made all the more rewarding by the colleagues I have been fortunate to have worked alongside - from my days with England and Great Britain Hockey, to my current position with the FA.
“As we prepare in earnest to take the Team GB Women’s Football team to Tokyo for a shot at Olympic success on the greatest sporting stage of all, this recognition gives me even greater motivation to help our players achieve their dreams just as I was able to do at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
“My thanks go to all the athletes and staff I have worked with over the years, and to my wonderful family for their love and unwavering support.”
Our CEO, Mark Bullingham, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to see our colleagues honoured in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. For Kelly and David, this is well-deserved recognition of their tireless dedication to growing the women’s game, and the remarkable impact they both continue to have on our sport.”
Recipients will be invited to an investiture to receive their awards as soon as COVID-19 restrictions allow.