Legendary Black Cats goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery has spoken of his pride after it was revealed he has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Jimmy, 71, Sunderland AFC’s record appearance maker, is to be recognised for his services to football.
After joining his home town team in 1960, he went on to play 627 times before spells at Southampton, Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest.
Jimmy said: “I am absolutely delighted and it’s a great honour to receive this award.
“I’ve been involved with football for a number of years, in many different and enjoyable roles.
“I have so many great memories that last a lifetime and to share this one with my family is something that I will savour.”
I have so many great memories that last a lifetime and to share this one with my family is something that I will savour.Jimmy Montgomery
Any mention of Jimmy is never complete with touching on his contribution to Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup win, in which he played a pivotal role, most importantly in the final against Leeds United when he made an iconic double save to help seal a 1-0 win.
On retiring, he went on to become SAFC youth team manager before moving into coaching.
Three years ago, Jimmy, who went into coaching after retiring from playing, was made club ambassador and has been a driving force in the growth of the SAFC Former Players’ Association, arranging and hosting many fund-raising events for a number of Wearside charities.
Sunderland AFC chief executive officer, Margaret Byrne, said: “Jimmy is a true gentleman. As well as being hugely respected in the footballing world, he has led on many fund-raising activities and has helped many charities in the region. On behalf of everybody at SAFC, I congratulate Jimmy on such a great achievement which is thoroughly deserved.”