Noel Bailie awarded the MBE

Former Linfield defender Noel Bailie, who played over 1,000 games for the team, has been awarded an MBE.

Noel from Hillsborough who recently lost his mother, described the news as being a ‘proud day’ for him and his family.

“I was initially shocked when I got the news but since the news has started to sink in, I naturally feel very pleased and humbled to have been nominated for this award and delighted and flattered to have been awarded this prestigious honour,” he said.

“It’s a proud day for my family and I, although of course it’s a day tinged with sadness after the recent passing of my mother.

“My dad and my kids are delighted and I know my mum would have been very proud too.

“I’ve received so many phone calls and texts of congratulations and I just want to thank everyone for their best wishes. Michael Gault and Gary Eccles have texted me but there have been so many texts from players, staff and supporters and I want to thank everyone for their kindness.”]

He thanked everyone for their kindness

“I’ve read all the messages from the supporters clubs - Kingsway, Lisburn, South Belfast, Shankill and Bangor on the website and again I want to thank them all,” he said.

“I’ve also read the messages from individual supporters on the website and thanks to them and the manager who also put a lovely message on the website about this special award.

“I’m so grateful for all the support so thank you to everyone for their thoughtfulness.”