Daily Echo:

SAINTS star Steven Davis admitted it was “completely unexpected” to have been made an MBE for his services to football.

During a professional career that has spanned more than 14 years, Davis has become one of the most capped players in Northern Irish history.

Last summer, the midfielder captained his country to their first major tournament in more than 30 years at Euro 2016, where Michael O’Neill’s side impressively reached the second round.

After a recent World Cup qualifier win over Azerbaijan he clocked 95 games for the national team, joining David Healy as the third-highest capped Northern Ireland international ever.

Having also played for Aston Villa, Fulham and Scottish giants Rangers, Davis has been a lynchpin for Saints since his arrival in 2012, making nearly 200 appearances in all competitions.

He has now been rewarded by being made an MBE for his contribution to the game.

“It was completely unexpected,” Davis said. “It’s a huge honour and something I never really had on my mind whatsoever.

“To get the news, I just felt so much pride and I’m hugely honoured.

“I have enjoyed every single game I have played for Northern Ireland.”

Davis insists that reaching a century of caps isn’t on his mind.

“I haven’t really given too much thought about getting to 100 caps, I just enjoy going away with the national team, and we are in a good period at the moment,” he said.

“I want to play for the country as long as possible.

“There have been so many highlights, with the Euros being one of the best experiences of my life. We want more of that now.”