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Former Reading defender 'shocked and amazed' with MBE

Primus playing for the Former Players  XI during a charity game in 2011Former Reading defender and Christian Charity co-founder Linvoy Primus has spoken of his delight after being named in the Queen’s New Year honours.

The 41-year-old, who was born in east London and enjoyed a 17-year playing career, including three years with The Royals, received an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire ).

He was recognised both for his services to Football and for setting up the charity Faith in Football, which he started 12 years ago.

Primus was signed by Reading Boss Tommy Burns for £500,000 from Barnet at the start of the 1997–98 season and partnered Keith McPherson in defence. After playing 113 League and cup games for The Royals, he joined Portsmouth in 2000.

In 2002 Primus co-founded Faith and Football, along with fellow pro Darren Moore, in order to help young people in communities come together through football and Christianity.

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

Primus told south coast publication The News: “Everything I’ve done has never been for awards, it’s been for people, especially young people, to recognise there’s potential in them and realise that potential.

“I don’t think I can compare [my charity work to my football career]. In football you aim to win and succeed, but to be recognised for work done away from football is something… really special… and I can’t compare to anything I’ve done in football.”

He added: “The community work I’ve been able to take part in while being at Pompey has been amazing – to know you can be a role model to so many people, young and old, is quite an achievement, but for my parents it’s something they never dreamt I’d see. Even for myself, I wouldn’t have dreamt I’d see anything like it.

“I take this not just for me but for everybody who supported me and the work of Faith and Football.”

Recounting how he found out about the good news, Primus said it came in “an envelope with official writing”.

"You tend to think it’s the taxman,” he joked, “but to open it and see it was amazing. I’m still smiling now.”

01 February 2015

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