Forgotten Sheffield Wednesday man awarded MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours list
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Anwar Uddin, who came and went from the Hillsborough club after just four months without having made a league appearance, was honoured for Services to Football.
He becomes first British South Asian current or ex-player ever to get an MBE alongside fellow football figures Gareth Bale, James Milner and Alan Rough.
Uddin's former West Ham academy team-mate Rio Ferdinand has been made an OBE.
Uddin signed for Wednesday from one of the country’s most prolific academies at West Ham back in 2002 having come through with the likes of Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole and Frank Lampard. Optimism was high, with Uddin one of a handful of bright young signings the club hoped would build towards a return to the top tier.
But his stint was cut short as the financial landscape was shifted by the collapse of ITV Digital and he was one of a handful moved on, Uddin to Bristol Rovers.
His career didn’t quite take off in the same way as some of his academy colleagues, though he went on to play over 200 times for Dagenham & Redbridge, where at one stage he was one of only five professional British Asians playing in the Football League and Premiership.
He has since gone on to lead change as chair of Fans for Diversity, works on several equality steering committees and is manager of the England C team.
“I am extremely proud to be awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for Services to Football,” he said in a statement.
“I am so grateful for what football has given me - still at heart a young fan from East London, of mixed Bangladeshi/English heritage, who has had the opportunity to play, coach, manage and campaign towards positive change within the game.
“I'd like to thank my family, the Football Supporters' Association, all the clubs I have represented and everyone associated with the Fans For Diversity campaign. It's because of the hard work of so many that I receive this Honour.
“Football is, and should always be, for everyone.”