Upon hearing the news, Hayes commented: ‘It was a huge shock to hear I had been awarded an OBE. It’s an unbelievable honour for me and my family and a privilege I take very seriously.
‘I would like to thank everyone who has worked with me across my career. I am fortunate and extremely lucky to have represented a fantastic football club and an amazing group of people over these past ten years.
‘It’s been an unbelievable ride so far, transforming from an amateur outfit to one of the top five clubs in Europe and I hope we’ve helped to pave the way for future generations to come. I couldn’t have done it without the support, and I will be forever grateful to each and every one of them.
‘A special big thanks to my mum and dad and wider family for their unwavering support throughout. This is for you.’
Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck also commented on the achievement: ‘On behalf of everybody at Chelsea Football Club, I would like to congratulate Emma on this incredible honour she is receiving.
‘Since joining us over a decade ago, Emma has not only transformed the women’s team here at Chelsea but has also continued to pioneer the way for the women’s game and inspire young girls across the country.
‘It’s great to see Emma’s hard work and dedication both on and off the pitch recognised, and we are very proud of all of her impressive achievements over the past 10 years.’