Gail Redmond, Women’s Domestic Manager for the Irish FA Foundation, has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the New Year’s Honours List for services to football.
Since joining the association over 10 years ago, Redmond has played a key role in the development of female participation in the game.
Also the current first team coach at Glentoran Women, Gail represented the Northern Ireland senior women’s team for six years during her playing career. She also played for the Glens and in the USA.
“I am humbled and honoured to receive such an accolade,” said Redmond. “Every year I am always excited to see who’s on the honours list and never in my wildest dreams did I expect to feature on it personally.
“I feel so privileged to work full time in the game I love. I am part of an amazing team with hard working colleagues, as well as brilliant partners and stakeholders, all of whom contribute to the success of women’s football.
“Finally, I would like to pay a special thanks to my family. Their support for me is always unwavering.”
Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson said: “The profile of women’s and girls’ football in Northern Ireland has never been higher thanks in no small part to our senior women’s team. But the work of trailblazers like Gail Redmond has helped pave the way for many of the stars we saw grace the pitch during the UEFA Women’s Euros last summer.
“I am delighted to see Gail get this recognition.”
Irish FA President Conrad Kirkwood said: “It is fitting in a momentous year for Northern Ireland women’s and girls’ football that Gail should be recognised.
“She has elevated the status of the game as player, coach, administrator and turned her hand adeptly to commentating. I am delighted for her, and I look forward to her playing a continuing vital part in the further development of football in Northern Ireland.”
Also on the New Year's Honours list is Jahswill Emmanuel who chairs Multi-Ethnic Sports And Cultures NI which works closely with the Irish FA Foundation.
Jahswill has been awarded the BEM (British Empire Medal) for services to the community in Northern Ireland.
Irish FA President Conrad Kirkwood said: “Jahswill has been at the forefront of promoting diversity as chair of Multi-Ethnic Sports and Cultures NI.
“I have witnessed first hand the contribution he makes in promoting inclusion as he often works closely with the Irish FA.
“Jahswill is a tremendous asset in tackling diversity and I am delighted to have been able to benefit from his enthusiastic approach. This honour rightly recognises his ability to create opportunities for everyone through football and sport as a whole.”