Kath Phipps with Sir Bobby Charlton and his wife Norma.

United's 'Unsung hero' recognised

Tuesday 28 April 2020 09:00

The Stadium Business Awards have recognised the incredible long-standing service of Manchester United receptionist Kath Phipps.

Kath, adored by United staff past and present, celebrated 50 years of dedicated service to the club in 2018 and will continue to be the friendly, welcoming face at the Aon Training Complex once we return to work.

The awards recognise leadership, innovation and achievement in the delivery, operation and management of sports facilities globally, with Kath coming out on top in the 'Unsung Hero' category.

Richard Arnold presents a bouquet of flowers to Kath.

The panel stated: "Manchester United may well be one of the biggest brands on the planet, but it remains at its heart a ‘family club’ – and, for 52 years, Kath Phipps has been like a mum to so many at the club. She started working for Manchester United FC in 1968, in the same year that United became the first English club to win the European Cup.

“Working initially for Sir Matt Busby, she has since worked for another 10 managers, including the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson. Today, she is based at the Carrington training ground (greeting all players and coaching staff every morning) but she has been a crucial link with the club at the highest level to the FA, Premier League, UEFA and FIFA. On matchdays, Kath is the first person to greet all VIP guests at the Directors' Entrance.

“She epitomises the Busby approach at United: It’s about more than just breeding great players, it’s about being good people too."

There was some pretty stiff competition for the prize, which was for an individual (or team) that delivers consistently outstanding service to a particular stadium, arena or major sports venue without recognition.

Atletico Madrid's Ricardo Casanez, the Red Bull Arena vice-president of operations, Shaun Oliver, Burnley's Doug Metcalfe, head of marketing at Brondby, Thomas Skov Petersen, and the volunteer army at the Gazprom Arena were also on the shortlist.

Congratulations to Kath from everybody at the club, it's richly deserved!