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Wednesday 29 Nov 2023
Jonny Evans receives MBE from Prince of Wales

Northern Ireland captain Jonny Evans felt “very privileged” after receiving his MBE at Buckingham Palace.

Evans, who was awarded an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours List back in June, was accompanied to the Palace by his wife Helen and his mum and dad, Dawn and Jackie.

He was presented with his award at an investiture ceremony in London by the Prince of Wales.

The 35-year-old Manchester United defender, who has won 106 caps for his country to date, has been recognised for services to football in Northern Ireland.

He also said he felt “really proud” to be awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by His Majesty King Charles III.

After the ceremony on Monday, Evans revealed he chatted about football with Prince William as he collected his award.

He said: "We were just chatting, chatting about football mostly. It was a nice moment and obviously for him to take the time and speak on a personal level was really nice.

"It was obviously quite a surreal feeling to be up there and to meet the Prince of Wales.

"I feel very privileged. It was a great experience for the family.”

Evans made his senior debut aged just 18 years and 246 days in Northern Ireland’s now famous 3-2 win over Spain at Windsor Park on 6 September 2006.

This year he captained Northern Ireland during the UEFA Euro 2024 qualification campaign.

The defender further said: "It's something (the MBE) that has come at the end of reaching 100 caps for my country and I feel really, really proud about it. The amount of text messages I've had…people are really excited.

"To be able to bring my wife and my mum and dad down to Buckingham Palace for the day, it's just an incredible thing."

Back in June, on first hearing about his award, he said: “It brought it home that playing more than 100 times for my country, and playing for so long for Northern Ireland, has been so good. I represented everyone in the country and had many good times along the way.”

Born in Belfast and raised in Newtownabbey, the former Belfast High School pupil began his distinguished playing career in the youth set-up at Manchester United in 2004.

During almost a decade as part of United’s first team he won the UEFA Champions League, three Premier League titles, the League Cup twice and the FIFA World Club Cup.

While on United’s books he had loan spells with Sunderland, where he picked up an EFL Championship winner’s medal, and with Royal Antwerp in Belgium.

The defender signed for West Bromwich Albion in August 2015 before switching to Leicester City three years later. He won the FA Cup with the Foxes in 2021.

Evans, who moved to England in his early teens to be part of the Manchester United Academy, was also capped at U21 level for Northern Ireland, the last of his three appearances coming just five days before he made his debut for the senior team against Spain in Belfast.

And before that he clocked up eight appearances for the Northern Ireland Under-17 team.