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Four with League links recognised in New Year’s Honours List

31 December 2014

Fleetwood Town president Jim Betmead and long serving Crewe Alexandra chairman John Bowler have both been awarded with an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

Bowler, who was honoured with the Contribution to League Football Award at the 2014 Football League Awards, has been awarded the accolade for outstanding service to football and Betmead, who founded the current Cod Army back in 1997, is recognised for his work for sport and in the local community.

Having served as chairman for six years, Betmead became the club's president in 2003 and has focussed the re-formed Fleetwood's growth on establishing a firm foundation in the local community.

"It is an amazing honour. It is great for me obviously but it is also great for my family and the football club. It is a very proud moment," he explained to

"I received a letter about six weeks ago informing me that I was going to be honoured with an MBE. It was a difficult thing to keep quiet for that length of time. The news had to be kept in strictest confidence until New Years’ Eve.

"It’s been an incredible year for the Club. Winning at Wembley in the way we did was an amazing occasion. It has been a team effort and a lot of people have worked really hard over the years to get the Club where we are today. So I would like to take this chance to thank all of those people as well."

They were words echoed by a similarly humble Bowler who told "It was a great surprise and honour to be recognised for the award. It is rather humbling to have an individual or a group put a proposal forward and for it to be accepted is a great honour.

"It is recognition for a lot of hard work from a lot of people at the Football Club and as I am receiving the award for services to football and the local community then it is a reward I share with them."

Also recognised in the New Year’s Honours List was former Charlton Athletic, Barnet, Reading and Portsmouth defender Linvoy Primus who joins Betmead and Bowler in being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

Primus, who has a stand named in his honour at Fratton Park, set up Faith and Football to run a number of community and educational programmes in towns and cities across England and it is his work in this field that has been acknowledged six years after he retired from playing.

After being awarded an MBE in 2000, Brendon Batson has now been bestowed with an OBE for services to football.

Born in Grenada, the cultured full-back started off at Arsenal before making his name at Cambridge United and went on to enjoy even greater success with West Bromwich Albion after following Ron Atkinson to the Hawthorns.

At the height of his playing career he was famed for being one-third of the 'Three-Degrees' alongside Cyrille Regis and Laurie Cunningham and, after injury cut short his playing days in 1982, he went on to establish a successful role away from the pitch with the Professional Footballers’ Association.

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