Former Accrington Stanley Chairman Ilyas Khan has received a a Papal Knighthood from Pope Francis.

Pope Francis created Ilyas Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great in recognition of his services to the Roman Catholic church.

“Our former Club Chairman (and my good friend) Ilyas’ charitable works are legendary,” said current Stanley Chairman Peter Marsden. “He has spent several years as Chairman of Leonard Cheshire Disability and is now Chairman of Stephen Hawking Foundation.

“There are many¬†’causes’ in East Lancashire – not just our beloved Stanley – but Blackburn Cathedral and Stonyhurst College (to name but two) which Ilyas has been involved with.

“Congratulations Ilyas, everyone at Stanley sends their very best wishes”.