Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 12.47.45MORE THAN FORTY YEARS after winning one of the most sought after medals in world sport Jimmy Montgomery has been awarded another by his country.

The former Sunderland goalkeeper whose wonder saves in the 1973 FA Cup final against Leeds United  helped his team achieve one of the greatest ever upsets in football history, has been awarded with the British Empire Medal (BEM).

He was presented with his medal, awarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, by the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear Mrs Susan Winfield OBE at a civic reception in the Mayor’s Parlour at Sunderland Civic Centre.

The British Empire Medal is awarded to people in recognition for outstanding services to their country, community, profession and walk of life.

As an Ambassador for his home city and supporter of numerous charities and community  causes,  Jimmy Montgomery – as a goalkeeper –  scores highly in every criteria in the award of his British Empire Medal.

He was awarded his BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List earlier this year, and as is the right of all recipients, chose to have it presented amongst friends and family in his home city.

Mr Montgomery, better known as ‘Monty’ to generations of football fans across the world, said: “I was flabbergasted when I was first told I was to receive this medal, but obviously also highly delighted.

“It’s an honour for me, my family, Sunderland Football Club and the city.

“The Lord Lieutenant’s Office said I could choose where to have the medal presented and I thought the civic centre was the most fitting place, right in the middle of Sunderland  surrounded by friends and family with my wife Joy.”

The Presentation Ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Barry Curran, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant – Tyne and Wear, Mrs Susan Winfield OBE, Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Dr Norman Taylor, and civic guests in the Mayor’s Parlour.

The Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Barry Curran said:  “As Mayor of Sunderland on behalf of everyone in the city, I’d like to congratulate Jimmy Montgomery on being awarded the British Empire Medal.

“He fully deserves this honour as someone who never fails to represent himself, his family, his city and his football club with the greatest dignity, grace and humour.”

Representing Sunderland Football Club at the presentation, Commercial Director Gary Hutchinson, added: “Jimmy is held in such high esteem by everyone at the club and in the city. He is hugely respected throughout the football world and he is much loved by Sunderland supporters, young and old alike.

“For him to be honoured in this way is a fitting tribute to all he has achieved in his career and recognition of the many years of service he has given not only to football, but to the city of Sunderland and to the many charities and good causes he has worked tirelessly for.

“He is an integral part of our Sunderland family and we are delighted that he has been given such a prestigious honour.”