Pelé, arguably the greatest footballer of all time, received the Legend of Football Award at the HMV Football Extravaganza (FE) tonight (Tuesday 29th October) from England Manager, Roy Hodgson.
The FE, now in its 18th year, raises funds for Nordoff Robbins, a music therapy charity who work with isolated and vulnerable people across the UK. Taking place at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London and hosted by Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves and Richard Keys, the FE saw stars from the world of football and music come together to celebrate Pelé’s incredible career.
“I am honoured to have received the Legend of Football Award at the HMV Football Extravaganza. It felt very special to be recognised at such a prestigious event.
Pelé visited Nordoff Robbins’ London Music Therapy Centre on Monday (28th October) where he met 13 year old Eduardo. Eduardo, who has autism, has been coming to Nordoff Robbins since he was 10 to help develop his confidence and communication skills. Eduardo was born in the UK, but both his parents are from Brazil.
“During my visit to Nordoff Robbins, I had the chance to meet to the young and talented Eduardo, who represents a testament to how music therapy can change a person’s life. It was great fun to play songs together. Music is very good for the soul.”
Presenting Pelé with his award at the event, Roy Hodgson said:
“It is a great honour and a great privilege to be standing here and to have been asked to present this award to Pelé.
“The word legend is used very often these days, but in fact I think there are very few legends in the world of football and the greatest legend of all is with us tonight. We all admire him and respect him and love the way he played football.”
Guinness World Record
During the FE, Pelé was honoured with two Guinness World Records™ achievements – Most Career Goals and Most World Cup Winners’ Medals. In his career, stretching from 7 Sep 1956 to 1 Oct 1977, Edson Arantes do Nascimento (b. 23 Oct 1940), known as Pelé, scored 1283 goals. He is the only player in the history of the game to win Three World Cup winners medals. He was presented with the certificates at the event by Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief.
The event raised just over £400,000 – nearly £200,000 of which was raised during the auction where a one off pair of signed Beats headphones, designed especially for the event sold for £5,000, a unique 6ft print of Pelé on the beach in Sao Paulo with the Jules Rimet Trophy taken by world-renowned photographer Terry O’Neill and signed by Terry and Pelé sold for £13,000, a private lunch for 6 hosted by José Mourinho sold for a staggering £37,000, plus a completely unique opportunity to be photographed on the night by Terry O’Neill, with Pelé and his Jules Rimet trophy, sold for £13,000.
VIP guests at the event included Carlos Alberto, John Barnes, Trevor Francis, James Beattie, Roy Hodgson, David Ginola, Kevin Davis, Sir Trevor McDonald, Allan Mullery, Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Danny Higginbotham, Mike Summerbee, Glenn Hoddle , Alex McLeish, Gianluca Vialli, Luther Blissett, Ray Clemence, Les Ferdinand, Kevin Kilbane, Ray Lewington, Jonny Vaughan, Helen Chamberlain, Max Rushden and John Salako. There was also a surprise performance from Mick Hucknall.
Brian McLaughlin, chairman of the Football Extravaganza event, said:
“We were honoured to present Pelé with the Legend of Football Award. He is without doubt the greatest footballer of all time and a man who remains at the centre of the beautiful game, where he is universally recognised, respected and revered in every corner of the globe.
“The Football Extravaganza, now in its 18th year, is raising funds for Nordoff Robbins. Since its inception we have raised over £6 million, enabling the charity to provide music therapy across the UK to people who really need it – those who are vulnerable and isolated, giving them an opportunity to communicate and to be heard.”
Paul McGowan, Chairman of HMV, said:
"Surely, given his amazing talent on the pitch and his dedication to the game off the pitch, no-one could be more deserving of the title Legend of Football. We are proud to be able to be part of an event to honour Pelé and to have such a good cause to benefit from the evening.”
Previous recipients of an award at the HMV Football Extravaganza, which recognises outstanding achievement in the world of football and contribution to the beautiful game, include Sir Bobby Robson (2001), Sir Alex Ferguson (2005), Eric Cantona (2010) and Jose Mourinho (2011). The 2012 event, in celebration of 20 years of the Premier League, recognised 5 players who had played more than 500 Premier League games. They were Sol Campbell, Ryan Giggs, Emile Heskey, David James, Frank Lampard and Gary Speed (who was awarded the honour posthumously).