Manchester United and England legend Gary Neville added a non-footballing title to his impressive list of honours on Friday 18th July 2014 when he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Salford.
The England coach and Sky Sports pundit received a doctor of science award from Salford Business School in recognition of his dedication to promoting the importance of sustainability in the sports and property development industries.
In the latter stages of his football career Gary became interested in the benefits of sustainable building design while being heavily involved in the planning and construction of a number of homes in which he lived. This led to the launch of his own design practice, Zerum, in Manchester in 2005.
His latest property venture, with fellow Manchester United ‘Class of ‘92’ stars Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and brother Phil Neville, is Hotel Football, a new development next to Manchester United’s Old Trafford football ground.
In 2011 Gary decided to combine his interest in sustainability with his love of sport through the establishment of Sustainability in Sport, a foundation which aims to use the power and influence of sport to raise awareness of environmental issues among the general public and looks to establish strong eco-standards for the operation of sports clubs.
More recently, he has joined with Class of 92 colleagues to invest in Salford City FC, looking to help the club rise up the football pyramid in a sustainable way while emphasising its local links and developing it as a model of how a community-based football club should be run.
Speaking about his honorary doctorate, Neville said:
“I’ve had a strong affiliation with Salford ever since I joined Manchester United as a youth player in 1991 and I’m delighted to be involved more closely with the city’s community through Salford City FC and now as an honorary graduate at the University.
“University students work so hard to get a degree and you could say that the Salford students graduating today have, in football terms, won a Premier League title. But now they need to get on in their chosen career and win six or seven more.
“Sir Alex Ferguson believed hugely in young people and always said: ‘Young people will surprise you’. I’m sure the graduates here today will surprise us all. Plenty of people in life say: ‘You can’t’, but graduates should just ignore them and go and make their own mark on life.”
At the graduation ceremonies, held at The Lowry in Salford Quays from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 July, the University also bestowed honorary degrees on several other people in acknowledgement of impressive attainment in their respective fields.
Chief Executive of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Sir David Dalton, was made a doctor of science in recognition of his commitment to the improvement of public healthcare, while Salford alumnus and electronics engineer David Tupman was honoured for his work as Vice President of iPhone and iPod Hardware Engineering for Apple, leading the hardware engineering and technology development teams that revolutionised the digital music and smart phone industries.
Other honorary graduates included:
– Ged Mason, Chief Executive of Morson Group
– Chartered architect and chartered quantity surveyor Professor Chitra Weddikkara
– Professor Michael Goldsmith, former University of Salford Pro-Vice Chancellor
– Professor David Croisdale-Appleby, corporate strategist
University Vice-Chancellor Professor Martin Hall said:
“All our honorary graduates have made outstanding contributions to their fields of work and expertise, and we are proud to have them join our community through these awards.”
This information is from a press release provided by the University of Salford