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Sporting legend Sir Alex Ferguson received an honorary degree from the University of Ulster today in recognition of his outstanding personal and professional contribution to football.

The former Manchester United manager flew into Northern Ireland for the ceremony in the Sports Centre at the university’s Jordanstown Campus, which was attended by over 500 staff, students and graduates.

Speaking at the ceremony where Sir Alex received the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc.), University of Ulster Chancellor, Dr James Nesbitt said: “Ulster has well-established roots in sporting excellence, making Sir Alex the perfect role model for our students and graduates. Sir Alex’s success is the result of ambition, integrity and above all, a passion for football and his players which can be emulated in sport and further afield. It is a great privilege for us to host him here at the university today.”

Professor Richard Barnett, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ulster added:

“The principles of confident leadership, effective management and team spirit for which Sir Alex is best known, are the very reasons he is respected in the world of football and beyond. I hope our students and graduates can look to him as an inspiration in their chosen career path as our sporting, healthcare, arts and business leaders of the future.”

Receiving the award, Sir Alex Ferguson said:

“It is an honour to receive this award from such an esteemed institution. The core principles that I applied throughout my career, those of hard work, determination and strong character, are a cornerstone of the university. I am humbled that my experiences and accomplishments are viewed by the university as an inspiration to its students and graduates.”