A GUIDING light of the Galpharm Stadium project has been honoured for services to football.
Paul Fletcher, 55, who helped oversee the development of Huddersfield's premier sporting venue, received an MBE in the new year's honours list.
It recognises his expertise as a leading consultant on stadium development .
Paul said he was absolutely delighted to be recognised in the honours.
He said:" I've been involved in football since I was 15 and I've been able to put something back into a sport which has always given me such great pleasure.
"It was a huge surprise for me."
Paul joined Town as chief executive in 1990 following a 16-year career as a professional footballer with Bolton Wanderers, Burnley and the now defunct Colne Dynamoes.
In 1992, he was moved to work full-time on ambitious plans for the McAlpine Stadium.
The stadium, now the Galpharm, won an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1995 and is recognised as the first in the new generation of sports venues.
After six years at Huddersfield, Paul returned to Bolton in 1996 to mastermind the £40m Reebok Stadium plan.
That led to his appointment as commercial director of the new £500m Wembley National Stadium project.
But after just 18 months he left the job to spend more time with his family in Rawtenstall, Lancashire.
During the following 10 years he advised on stadium schemes in the UK and Europe - before going on to lead the £130m Ricoh Stadium development for Coventry City.
Paul is now managing director of Coventry City - where he is leading the club's bid to return to Premiership football.
Paul's playing career began at Bolton - but it was at Burnley he achieved is greatest successes.
He joined the Turf Moor side in 1970 and during the next 10 years made more than 400 appearances for the club.
He gained four England under-23 caps, but hopes of full international honours were cut short by a serious knee injury, which eventually forced his retirement from the game at the age of 32.
Paul retained his links with Huddersfield.
As a professional speaker, he regularly entertains at sporting dinners.