First pictures as Leeds Rhinos icon Jamie Jones-Buchanan collects MBE at Buckingham Palace for services to rugby league and community
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He was given the honour by HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, for his 'services to rugby league football and the community in Leeds’. The 41-year-old spent the entirety of his rugby league playing career with Leeds Rhinos before hanging up his boots in 2019.
He has since worked for the club as a coach, is a trustee of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation, and recently became the club’s first-ever head of culture, diversity and inclusivity.
He said: “I am surrounded by people who do wonderful work in the community and I just try and emulate that and give a little bit back. I have a great sense of gratitude for what Leeds has given me as a city; the community, the Rhinos, the stadium at Headingley, everything about the environment that has helped me to grow, to flourish and to become the person I am. Whether it’s me, Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield or Rob Burrow, we are all reflections of that environment and what opportunities we’ve had.”
His work with the Leeds Rhinos Foundation has involved voluntarily delivering rugby league opportunities to young people across the city, many of whom live in deprived areas. Projects he has been involved in have focused on subjects such as mental health and wellbeing and literacy.
After it was announced he would receive an MBE in the 2022 New Year Honours list, Jones-Buchanan dedicated the achievement to his grandparents, children and wife Emma.