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Edness adds voice to calls for footballer Best to be knighted

A bid to have former West Ham star Clyde Best awarded with a knighthood has been backed by former Government Minister Quinton Edness.

And Mr Edness appealed to Governor George Fergusson to help one of the Island's most successful sportsmen achieve the goal.

“I'm going directly to the Governor, through The Royal Gazette, and urging him to ask for a knighthood for Clyde Best,” he said.

He explained that honours are put forward after talks between the Premier of the day and the Governor. Recommendations are then forwarded to the UK government for consideration.

Mr Edness said: “I think she would be delighted, quite frankly, to provide Clyde Best with a knighthood.”

He added his voice to growing calls for Mr Best, 63, a Bermuda international who was awarded an MBE in 2006, to be given a higher honour after a grassroots campaign to nominate him through the UK government's website.

Speaker of the House of Assembly Randy Horton, also a former Bermuda international and past player with New York Cosmos, has already urged Bermuda residents to use the public nomination section on the British government website to nominate Mr Best.

Mr Horton said Mr Best was a trailblazer as one of the first black footballers to compete at the highest level in the English game and an inspiration to black youngsters in Britain to aim for the top.

He added that racist abuse on the football terraces was common in 1960s England — but added that Mr Best's courage and dignity in the face of racism set a shining example.

Mr Edness, a former Minister in successive UBP governments, said: “I believe every Bermudian and every person who was in Bermuda who knew Clyde Best at the time he was representing Bermuda overseas would urge the Governor to contact Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and request she grant him a knighthood, because of what he represented as a sportsperson and also for his contribution to humanity and what he had to endure to prove he was a deserving sportsman and sufficiently competent to recognised as a worthwhile human being.

“All of Bermuda is very proud that he represented Bermuda and, at this particular time, he could once again represent Bermuda with the provision of a knighthood.”

The UK honours system was updated in recent years after criticism it was outdated and undemocratic.

Now members of the public can nominate individuals through the gov.uk website, with separate forms for people living in the UK and overseas.

The honours page can be found at https://www.gov.uk/honours.

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Published June 23, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated June 23, 2014 at 12:45 am)

Edness adds voice to calls for footballer Best to be knighted

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