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Southampton's Steven Davis rewarded with MBE for service to football in Northern Ireland

A well-deserved honour for Saints' ever-present midfield leader

Northern Ireland v New Zealand - International Friendly Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Southampton midfielder Steven Davis was rewarded an MBE, recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours for his services to football as Northern Ireland captain.

Davis led his country to relative, and unexpected, success at last summer's Euro 2016 in France—defying the odds by reaching the last 16 of the tournament. The Saints midfielder was the first player to captain Northern Ireland at a major tournament in 30 years.

He said: "It is just a huge honour for both myself and my family. I was shocked and taken aback when I was told about it. I thought it was a joke at first.

"It was just something that had never registered with me, that I might receive something like this. Now, however, I think it's unbelievable. To get recognition like this when I'm still playing is a massive thing."

The honours are released to mark the Queen's official birthday, recognising those who have worked tirelessly out of the public spotlight. They include recipients from the fields of business, education, healthcare and charity.