Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.
Hayes was given an MBE for her services to football in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours in 2016 and will now be bestowed an OBE for the same reason later this year.
Since being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) five years ago, Hayes has added a raft of trophies to her name, starting by lifting the WSL Spring Series title in early 2017 and going on to win the Double that May. Hayes also welcomed the birth of her son soon after Chelsea’s FA Cup final victory.
Further silverware followed in 2020 as the Blues clinched the Continental Tyres League Cup and were crowned the Barclays FA Women's Super League champions. Although the league ended prematurely due to Covid-19, it was decided by the FA that Hayes' undefeated side were winners, based on a points-per-game system. Hayes was named the 2019/20 WSL Manager of the Season after guiding the Blues to a brilliant unbeaten domestic campaign of 12 victories and three draws.
Last season, she led the Blues to their most successful season to date with an impressive domestic quadruple win, taking home the Barclays WSL league title, Continental Cup and Community Shield, and most recently winning the rescheduled Vitality FA Cup in front of over 40,000 people at Wembley.
Chelsea also made it to our first Champions League final last season and achieved a record-breaking 32-game unbeaten streak in the WSL. Unsurprisingly, Hayes was once more named the WSL Manager of the Season in 2020/21, and she was also inducted into the FA WSL Hall of Fame this year.
Hayes penned a new deal in July 2021, committing her future to the club, and during the summer she also garnered critical acclaim for her expert analysis as a television pundit during the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.
Upon hearing the news, Hayes commented: ‘It was a huge shock to hear I had been awarded an OBE. It’s an unbelievable honour for me and my family and a privilege I take very seriously.
‘I would like to thank everyone who has worked with me across my career. I am fortunate and extremely lucky to have represented a fantastic football club and an amazing group of people over these past ten years.
‘It’s been an unbelievable ride so far, transforming from an amateur outfit to one of the top five clubs in Europe and I hope we’ve helped to pave the way for future generations to come. I couldn’t have done it without the support, and I will be forever grateful to each and every one of them.
‘A special big thanks to my mum and dad and wider family for their unwavering support throughout. This is for you.’
Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck also commented on the achievement: ‘On behalf of everybody at Chelsea Football Club, I would like to congratulate Emma on this incredible honour she is receiving.
‘Since joining us over a decade ago, Emma has not only transformed the women’s team here at Chelsea but has also continued to pioneer the way for the women’s game and inspire young girls across the country.
‘It’s great to see Emma’s hard work and dedication both on and off the pitch recognised, and we are very proud of all of her impressive achievements over the past 10 years.’