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Ossie honoured at Latin UK Awards

Posted by Tottenham Hotspur on 14 May 2014  - 10:00

Ossie Ardiles has been recognised with a Lifetime Achievement honour at the Latin UK Awards (LUKAS).

Ossie with Garth Crooks, Ricky Villa and Paul Miller at the Latin UK Awards Ossie at the Training CentreOssie with Ricky, 1978Ossie in action for Argentina

The legendary midfielder and World Cup winner with Argentina in 1978 received the coveted award for his outstanding contribution to sport at a star-studded event in London's KOKO venue.

Ossie joined us after lifting football's greatest prize and went on to win the FA Cup in 1981 and UEFA Cup in 1984 in 311 appearances between 1978-1988. He was capped 52 times by Argentina between 1975-1982.

Garth Crooks - a goalscorer in that 1981 FA Cup Final triumph - handed over the award and was joined by fellow team-mates Paul Miller and Ossie's compatriot Ricky Villa.

He said: "Ossie did something very special in this country. He broke the taboo that foreign players could not be successful here. Latin America and the United Kingdom are very proud of Ossie. He is a great mentor and a great role model. It is an honour and a privilege to present my dear friend with the LUKAS Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of my team-mates at Tottenham Hotspur."

On receiving his award Ossie said: "This is a beautiful award and I receive it with a great deal of respect for the Latin American community, which has come such a long way since me and Ricky (Villa) first came. Our cultures have given a huge amount to British society, if you think about sports, music, dance and food it's incredible the progress we have made here and this is a wonderful way of celebrating it."

Ricky, famed for his goal in the 1981 FA Cup Final replay, added: "It's a pleasure to be beside Osvaldo as he receives this very important award and to share this moment. We both arrived in England to join a difficult league with totally different customs. The transition was made easier by the way in which the English welcomed us and the many friends we made."

The Air Europa LUKAS is the only awards ceremony to recognise the contribution of one million Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese residents to British life.