Linvoy Primus receives MBE in New Year Honours List

Linvoy Primus MBE
Linvoy Primus MBE
Picture: Franca Perletti

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HE’S known for being a Pompey footballing legend on the pitch and his dedication to helping others off it.

And the combination of the two is the reason why Linvoy Primus is made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year’s Honours list.

He is being recognised for setting up the charity Faith and Football, which he started 12 years ago.

It was initially created to help children with exercise and school work in Paulsgrove but has since branched out to help 20 schools in Portsmouth, and even some in Birmingham and Plymouth.

Linvoy said: ‘When I got the letter in the post I saw the envelope looked pretty official so I knew it was something serious.

‘But when I opened it and saw what it was I was shocked and surprised – a pleasant surprise.

‘But of course this is not just about me, there have been hundreds of volunteers who have helped me and I want to say thank you to them, as I wouldn’t have been able to do this without them.

‘As with any charity work you never set out to do it for reward, but it’s nice to be recognised for the work.’

The ex-defender joined Portsmouth Football Club in 2000 and started playing for the first team in the 2002-03 season.

In the same year he went on to win the PFC’s Fans’ Player of the Season and the Professional Footballers’ Association Fans’ Player of the Year.

During his time at Pompey he went on to make 219 appearances for the club until his retirement in 2010.

The Milton End stand at Fratton Park has been renamed the Linvoy Primus Community Stand in recognition of his services to the club.

He then focused on charity work and set up Faith and Football, which has a range of programmes to help children including learning business skills through the Enterprise Challenge and reading skills through Extra Time Reading.

The 41-year-old is also a long-time supporter of many charities in the Portsmouth area, such as Footprints, the Portsmouth Down syndrome support group, and he visits schools and helps the group to fundraise.

Linvoy added: ‘When Faith and Football started I had no idea how much it would grow but I’m so glad it has.

‘I hope it can carry on for many more years.’

Former colleagues have lined up to congratulate Linvoy on his MBE.

Former Pompey goalie and coach Alan Knight, who was made an MBE in the 2001 New Year’s Honours, said: ‘It is a great honour for Linvoy, a great achievement.

‘He very much deserves this, and it’s probably a bit overdue.

‘Linvoy was a dedicated professional who worked really hard. He really put the effort in on the training ground which led to him playing at the highest level.

‘Everyone appreciated his 100 per cent commitment to the cause and the team.’

And Pompey boss Andy Awford said: ‘He’s been a good servant to the club, he’s a good friend of mine and it’s fully deserved.

‘He leads by example with his charity work. He’s a lovely bloke and he’s very humble but all credit to him for his honour.

‘He came in on trial under Tony Pulis and I think it took a while for a decision to be made on whether they were going to keep him.

‘But he went on to be a really good signing for us.

I remember when I was reserve team manager and he was having a tough time.

‘It seemed like he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. But thankfully, he came through that, got in the side under Harry Redknapp and never looked back.

‘He was a good, solid pro. The youngsters certainly learnt from him.

‘But he is an example on how to conduct yourself and how to make the most of your ability.’