Dedicated PE teacher Barry Elmore has been awarded the reinstated British Empire Medal for his services to school sport.
The 63-year-old, who has worked at Belper School since 1973, was one of the great and the good to be selected for the honour – sometimes called the “working class” gong.
It was scrapped in 1993, but revived by David Cameron to mark the Queen’s Jubilee and recognises “the dedication and hard work so many provide to their communities”.
Mr Elmore, of Bargate, said: “I was very honoured – it was I couldn’t believe it at first - it’s a very humbling thing to be selected for.
“It’s nice to be able to accept it for the hundreds of coaches and teachers I have worked with over the years.
“When the postman gave me the envelope saying “on Her Majesty’s Service I joked with him - saying, ‘ I’m going on my next mission now then!’ I didn’t have a clue.”
Mr Elmore, played for Belper Town Football Club in the early 1970s after moving to the local area from his hometown of Barnsley.
He went on to play semi-professional football for Long Eaton and Alfreton Town before becoming the manager of Belper United between 1976 and 1986 and advancing the side four leagues into the East Midlands Premiership League.
In 2007 he was awarded an Amber Valley Active award for his services to sport and is also the secretary for South Peak Schools Football and Derbyshire Schools FA.
And after almost four decades of teaching he has mentored more than 22,000 children at Belper School and in some cases three generations of same local families.
He still teaches at the school on a part time basis.
“It has been a joy and a privilege to work at Belper School over the years and I would like to thank all the staff and students,” he continued.
“We’ve had some great students over the years and I think there is a great ethos at the school which has stood the test of time.”
Among Mr Elmore’s former students is Belper Swimmer Ross Davenport, who is competing at the London Olympics.
And after hearing an interview with Barry on BBC Radio Derby Ross decided to send a Tweet in to the show to say well done.
It read: “Barry was my PE teacher! Congratulations to him! Top guy!”