Jennie Beattie on getting MBE at Windsor Castle - where she also got cancer diagnosis

Jennie Beattie playing for Scotland
Jennie Beattie scored 24 goals in 144 caps for Scotland after making her senior debut aged 16

Former Scotland defender Jennie Beattie says receiving her MBE at Windsor Castle was "incredibly emotional" - because it was there that she was told she had breast cancer two years before.

The 32-year-old continued her career despite being diagnosed with cancer in October 2020 and having radiotherapy.

Beattie was honoured for services to football and charity after campaigning for breast cancer screening.

"It was a crazy 'full circle' moment," she told the Behind the Goals podcast.

"It was an amazing day and incredibly emotional for loads of different reasons. But one of the best.

"When I first got diagnosed with cancer, I went to Windsor Castle with my mum and dad just for a day out as I was waiting for the results.

"So to go full circle and to be back at Windsor Castle, getting an MBE for the stuff it all incorporated, I never could have anticipated that."

Beattie received the Helen Rollason BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 2021 after speaking publicly about her experiences and encouraging people to get checked.

The centre-back, who retired from international football after 144 caps in January, signed a new contract with Arsenal months after overcoming cancer.

She has won the Women's Super League six times with Manchester City and across two spells at Arsenal - but says receiving her MBE was particularly special.

"Everyone can guessed that I cried when I found out," she told podcast hosts Rachel Corsie and Leanne Crichton, her former Scotland team-mates.

"It's just never on your radar, you never expect to be getting that call. The Lionesses won the Euros, so I wasn't surprised to see a few of their names on the list, but I was almost like 'what have I done?'.

"You can win a trophy with your team, but what is cool about the MBE is the whole picture, not just football. It was charity and what I went through off the pitch - so it meant more from a character perspective.

"What it meant to my family meant everything. Their reaction was amazing.

"All my nieces and nephews were there, my family was all together - that meant everything to me.

"My immediate family got to go in with me. I was so nervous about saying the wrong thing, saying to myself 'please don't mess it up', but you get a recording of it and on it you see the rest of my family teasing in the background!"

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