STRETFORD man Lenox Valentine Green had a day to remember when he travelled to Buckingham Palace to be awarded the OBE by the Queen.

The 49-year-old received the honour for his community work at the Rainbow Christian Centre in Manchester - a charity he co-founded with his wife Heather, 53, who shared the royal occasion with him.

Lenox, from Urmston Lane, said entering the Palace was a surreal experience.

He said: “To experience a royal welcome on earth in Buckingham Palace, one of the world’s most famous addresses is a very other worldly feeling.”

Lenox said Her Majesty showed a keen interest in the work of the Centre, which supports the homeless, young people and ther families and people with alcohol and drug problems.

He said: “When the Queen spoke with me she clearly had detailed prior knowledge about the Rainbow Christian Centre and wanted to know a little more about the community work and background of how my wife and I decided to set up the Centre.

“We talked for what seemed like quite a while then she pinned my medal to my chest and shook my hand. I remember say 'God bless you' to her Majesty before I turned and exited the Ball Room.”

Lennox said it was only on the day of the ceremony he started to get butterflies.

He said: “During the build up toward the day of my OBE investiture I was not at all nervous but on the morning of the ceremony I became increasingly anxious as the gravity of the proceedings started to sink in.”

Lenox also shared his special day with his mum, Hermine and granddaughter, Chenieka Mai.

He and Heather re-mortgaged their own home to give the Rainbow Christian Centre a base.