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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 June, 2003, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Houllier and Wenger given OBEs
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (left) and Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
Wenger and Houllier are good friends
Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger have been awarded honorary OBEs.

The two Frenchmen were honoured in recognition of their outstanding contribution to British football.

Wenger has won two 'Doubles' - in 1998 and 2002 - in his time at Highbury, as well as a third FA Cup victory last season.

Houllier, meanwhile, led Liverpool to a treble trophy haul in the Uefa, FA and Worthington Cups in 2001, and made it five trophies in a year by adding the European Super Cup and Charity Shield.

Liverpool also won the Worthington Cup again last season.

The pair will be presented with their awards by the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, at a ceremony at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 9 July.

Wenger, 53, was delighted to be honoured and paid tribute to the players and staff at Arsenal.

"I am extremely proud and pleasantly surprised," he said.

"It is a great honour to be given this individual award, but as football is a team sport, I must give a great deal of credit and recognition to everyone that has helped me since I became manager of Arsenal in 1996."

This is an opportunity for Arsène and I to stress how lucky we are to work in this country in jobs that we love
Gerard Houllier

Wenger added: "The working environment at Arsenal is fantastic and from the first day I came to the club, everyone has been fully supportive and given me a huge amount of encouragement.

"I'm looking forward to receiving the award in July and also to achieving more great things with Arsenal Football Club."

Houllier said: "To be given such an award is a great, great honour and to be recognised in this way at the same time as my good friend Arsène Wenger makes it even more special.

"I am very proud to be considered worthy of such a prestigious award.

"This award is for Liverpool Football Club, the city of Liverpool and the fans who have always served as an inspiration to me."

Houllier, 55, said that he should share the honour with everyone "who has Liverpool in their heart", and thanked his players, backroom staff, chairman David Moores and chief executive Rick Parry.

"Anything I have given to football in this country has been down to them and the wonderful working relationship we have here at Liverpool Football Club," he added.

"This accolade is an opportunity for Arsène and I to stress how lucky and grateful we are to work in this country in jobs that we love, with people we like very much and respect."




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BBC Sport's Andy Swiss
"They will both receive their awards at a ceremony in London"


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