Northern Ireland striker David Healy has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

The Fulham forward has been recognised for services to football and to the community in Northern Ireland.

Healy is the country’s top international goalscorer scorer with 34 goals in 65 games and he received a special award for netting a record 13 goals in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.

Killyleagh man Healy, 28, started his professional club career with Manchester United and made his debut for the Red Devils in a League Cup game away to Aston Villa in October 1999.

Healy went on to play for Port Vale, Preston North End, Norwich City and Leeds United before moving to Craven Cottage last year.

However, the frontman has produced his best football on the international stage.

Healy made an immediate impact by scoring a brace in his Northern Ireland debut against Luxembourg in February 2000.

He surpassed the previous Northern Ireland goals record of 13, held by Colin Clarke, with two against Trinidad and Tobago in a 2004 friendly.

His most famous goal came a year later in the 1-0 victory over England at Windsor Park in a World Cup qualifier.

Healy’s 13 goals in the subsequent Euro 2008 qualifying campaign were not quite enough to take Northern Ireland to the finals.

The highlights included hat-tricks in wins over Spain and Liechtenstein and a double in the 2-1 success against Sweden.

Uefa president Michel Platini travelled to Belfast in March to present Healy with an award for his 13 goals, which beat the record previously held by Croatia’s Davor Suker.

“It’s an unbelievable honour,” said the 28-year-old Killyleagh-born striker.

“As a player growing up you never expect to get something like this.

“You dream of playing for big clubs and your country and scoring goals, but you never expect to be honoured in this way.

“Goal scoring records are there to be broken but when you are given something like the MBE you are always going to have it, no one can take this away from me.”