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Sir Ian Botham
Sir Ian Botham
Dr Avi Shankar
Dr Avi Shankar

Press Release - 24 June 2008

Cricket hero Sir Ian Botham collects honorary degree

Cricket hero Sir Ian Botham was awarded an honorary degree today from the University of Bath as part of the summer graduation ceremonies.

Sir Ian donned the traditional graduation gown to receive a Doctor of Laws at the ceremony held at Bath Abbey this afternoon. He was one of 650 graduates who collected degrees today to mark the end of their studies at the University.

Sir Ian said: "I am delighted to have been awarded this honorary degree. It is fantastic opportunity to celebrate the tradition and the history here in Bath. This area was the springboard for my career, so it has real significance for me."

Sir Ian came to Somerset in the 1950s and played for the county before going on to enjoy a phenomenal test cricket career that spanned 15 years. He is now recognised as one of the world‘s best-ever all rounders and one of England‘s greatest ever cricketers.

He said: "For me, sport is to be enjoyed. If you want to be winner that has to be your goal. You have to give it your best shot. If you can make yourself into a winner it is a great feeling."

Sir Ian's commitment to charity has seen him raise more than £10 million for Leukaemia Research since the 1980s by leading a series of long-distance walks across the UK, inspiring people to make donations as well as raising awareness of the cause.

He said: "The next walk is planned for October when we will walk through nine cities. We have been to so many places, it was hard to find cities that we had not been to yet."

Sir Ian said the all the hard work had produced amazing results.

He said: "Since we started the walks in the 1980s the survival rate for a child with leukaemia has increased to more than 80 per cent. From the money we have raised we have built a world-leading research centre in Glasgow. This is all down to the people who have donated money to the cause."

Sir Ian also supports the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), which raises awareness of Sudden Death Syndrome in children; as well as Leeds-based brain tumour charity Andrea‘s Gift; and Help for Heroes, a charity to support those wounded in Britain's current conflicts.

During his oration in the ceremony, Dr Avi Shankar from the University's School of Management, said: "The University of Bath takes pride in nurturing future British sporting talent, and we are delighted to confer an honorary degree on one of our greatest ever sporting heroes."

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: