FORMER England and Newcastle United captain Alan Shearer has been presented with an honorary degree.
The ceremony took place at Newcastle University yesterday and the Newcastle United legend was awarded the title of Doctor of Civil Law.
Shearer received his degree alongside three other prominent figures; Karen Davis, president of The Commonwealth Fund, surgeon Lord Darzi and BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh.
The ceremony saw him following in the footsteps of Sir Bobby Robson who was awarded the title of Doctor of Civil Law from Newcastle University in 2003.
Shearer said: “It’s a great honour to receive this degree, especially as it’s the same one Bobby had. Everybody knows I’m a Newcastle lad and have strong roots in the North East, so it was great to be invited to the university.
“The robes are red and white, so it’s a first for me to be wearing Sunderland colours, but if it was good enough for Bobby, it’s good enough for me. The hat is black and white, so that makes up for it.”
This was not the first time Shearer had been presented with an honorary degree. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of civil law from Northumbria University in December 2006.
He added: “I had a great time at the ceremony at Northumbria and I’ve had a great time at Newcastle.”
The graduation formed part of the official inauguration of the country’s Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, as the university’s new chancellor. Sir Liam, who became chancellor in August, said: “I lived and worked on Tyneside in a formative period of my life and career.
“Nothing could give me greater pride than taking up the post of chancellor in such a great city and in a university fit for the challenges of the 21st Century.”
“The four honorary graduates represent different facets of my career and interests – medicine, international health, public communication and sport.
“Each is an outstanding figure in their field and I was delighted that they were part of my inauguration ceremony.”
The vice-chancellor of Newcastle University, Professor Chris Brink, added: “We are fortunate to have found Sir Liam Donaldson as our new chancellor. He embodies, in his person and his achievements, our vision of Newcastle as a world-class civic university.
“As the nation’s doctor, he is widely respected and internationally known. His work reflects excellence, with a purpose. Not least, he has a long-time affiliation with and affection for Newcastle and the North East.”
This was not the first degree ceremony at Newcastle University that Sir Liam has attended. He was made an honorary Professor of Applied Epidemiology there in 1989.
Portrait of a legend on sale today
AN oil painting of Sir Bobby Robson, originally commissioned for a charity event, is to be auctioned today.
The portrait was commissioned from Newcastle football and sporting artist Mark Scorer for the Prince’s Trust.
It was one of the star lots in a football memorabilia auction two years ago as part of a series of sporting events in the North East.
Proceeds from the Prince’s Trust Challenge Trophy 2007 went to the trust to help young disadvantaged people in the region. The painting went on offer after a match at St James’ Park between the Duke of Northumberland’s XI and a side managed by Jack Charlton for the Earl of Durham.
The games featured ex-Newcastle United stars John Beresford, Peter Beardsley, Scott Sellars, Warren Barton, Lee Clark, Marc Hottiger, Darren Peacock, Philippe Albert, Paul Gascoigne and Ruel Fox.
Golf and cricket events were also part of the series.
The painting will be sold today by Newcastle auctioneers Anderson & Garland and is estimated at £800-£1,200.
The painting is signed “best wishes, Bobby Robson” in silver pen.
The vendor, who does not wish to be named, said: “I met Sir Bobby several times and it is a fantastic portrait which captures everything about him, including that wry look he often had.
“I have been really torn about selling it but I have moved to a smaller home.”