Alan Curtis: Swansea City legend to receive MBE in New Year Honours

Swansea legend Curtis ‘chuffed to bits’ with MBE

Swansea City legend Alan Curtis has been made an MBE in the New Year Honours list.

Curtis, 66, is recognised for his service to Welsh football after more than 40 years with the Swans.

Capped 35 times by Wales, Curtis had stints at Southampton, Stoke and Cardiff during his playing career.

“I am delighted – chuffed to bits really. It’s obviously a great honour,” Curtis told BBC Sport Wales.

“I am very proud, I am delighted for my wife and my family.

“It’s just a shame really when I look back now that my parents are not alive because they would have been absolutely thrilled. It’s tinged with sadness but the overwhelming feeling is one of pride.”

Though he had spells with other clubs, Curtis will forever be associated with Swansea, where he had three stints as a player and filled a succession of off-field roles before retiring last year.

Curtis did every coaching job at the club, from the youth sides to interim manager of the first team, working alongside the likes of Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup.

And long before the glamour of the Premier League, Curtis could even be found in Swansea’s old club shop, which was in a terraced house next to their former Vetch Field home.

“I have been fortunate to be in the game and awful long time – 40-odd years with the Swans plus the involvement with the other clubs I played for,” Curtis added.

“Having said that, I have been sacked twice, sold twice and given a free transfer. As you have probably heard me say before, it was as if I was attached by an elastic band (to Swansea) and I kept bouncing back.

“I am grateful for all the support, from the players, the staff and particularly the supporters because it’s been a long journey and a fantastic journey.

Alan Curtis in action for Swansea in 1982
Alan Curtis had three separate spells as a player with Swansea City

“There have been lots of ups and downs but obviously the highs far outweigh the lows.”

Curtis joined Swansea as an 18-year-old in 1972 and helped the club climb from the old Fourth Division to the First Division under John Toshack.

The Swans were promoted to the top flight in 1981, and Curtis scored the most memorable goal of his career on the opening day of the following season as Leeds were thrashed 5-1.

Swansea threatened to win the title that season but finished sixth – the best league placing in the club’s history.

With the Swans in decline, Curtis joined Southampton and then, after a spell on loan at Stoke, signed for Cardiff, before finishing his professional playing career back at Swansea in 1989-90.

Having retired after scoring 110 goals in more than 400 Swans appearances, he served the club with distinction in numerous roles before being made honorary life president by following his retirement in 2019.

The Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, said: “Alan is synonymous with Swansea City FC and Welsh football and it is fantastic to see a true legend of sport receive this honour.

“Congratulations to Alan for his remarkable contribution to Welsh football over the last 45 years.”

Twin brothers Mike and Dave Knight, 65, have been awarded British Empire Medals for voluntary service to Newport Cricket Club in South Wales.

Stalwarts of the club for 40 years, they have helped it recover from being close to closure in the 1980s following the enforced sale of the club’s ground.

They have built thriving youth and women’s and girls sections, and finally saw county cricket back in Newport for the first time in more than 50 years when Glamorgan played Gloucestershire at Spytty Park in 2019.

“It’s not something we set out to do, but we’ve had a good group of people at the club who’ve helped make it the success it is,” Mike Knight said.

“When we look back at the hours of dedication and what the club has achieved it makes it all worthwhile.”

BBC News