West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady has been named the Most Influential Woman in Football.
The Londoner was handed the accolade after topping an online poll by The Football Pools held to celebrate International Women’s Day on Wednesday, March 8.
It means a double celebration for the businesswoman as only hours earlier the Hammers home London Stadium was named Stadium Of The Year 2016.
Karren landed 42% of the vote in the poll of 1,000 football fans, beating BBC broadcaster Gabby Logan who took second place and Soccer AM host Helen Chamberlain who finished third,
The 47-year-old Londoner as presented with a trophy and £5,000 to donate to her chosen charity Wellbeing of Women which raises awareness and funds, for reproductive and gynaecological research, and provides health information for women.
She said: “It’s a great honour to receive this award and my sincere thanks go to everyone who took the time to vote.
“To top a poll of what I am delighted to say is now an ever-growing group of distinguished and talented influential women in the game, is more than I could have imagined a quarter of a century ago when I first started kicking down doors.”
Karren began her career in football after being appointed managing director of Birmingham City in 1993, aged 23. She oversaw the company’s flotation on the stock market, before becoming the Premier League’s first female managing director when the club was promoted in 2002.
She became a household name after appearing on The Apprentice as Lord Alan Sugar’s advisor and the mother-of-two went on to be appointed the Government’s Small Business Ambassador in 2013.
She was made a CBE for her services to entrepreneurship and women in business in 2014, before being elevated to the House of Lords as Baroness Brady later the same year.
In 2010 she was appointed vice-chairman of West Ham United , and has overseen the club’s move into the former Olympic Stadium.
She said: “I say it often but there is still a lot of work to be done. My hope is that the talented women on this list will continue to pave the way and open doors for others to follow. My ultimate aim is to see more women occupying executive positions throughout the business community helped by those who led the way.
“I give credit to The Football Pools for bringing awareness to this important issue through the creation of this award to celebrate International Women’s Day. There are more women occupying key roles within the game than ever and to be recognised among them makes me extremely proud.”
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