Phil Vickery MBE, former professional rugby player and now businessman, has received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Gloucestershire.
Born in Barnstaple, Devon, Phil has enjoyed a hugely successful rugby union career, playing mostly for Gloucester RFC, making 145 appearances during 11 years at the city’s Kingsholm ground. He captained his country at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, and was capped 73 times by England and twice by the British and Irish Lions.
Phil now runs his own clothing brand, Raging Bull, which he founded in 2003.
In presenting his award at Gloucester Cathedral, Mike Cogger, Dean of Applied Sciences at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “Phil has recently been appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucestershire to provide support to a former Vice-Chancellor of the University, Dame Janet Trotter, the current Lord Lieutenant of the county.
“Phil is an excellent role model combining a love of sport, success in business and a real desire to make a difference in his community.”
Phil is an ambassador of the Prince of Wales’ Countryside Trust, the children’s rugby charity Wooden Spoon, and vice patron of the Pied Piper appeal, a local charity in Gloucestershire for sick and disabled children.
He said: "It is a true honour and indeed a special moment for me to receive this prestigious award and become part of the history of this great institution. I set down my roots here in Gloucestershire over 20 years ago, in rugby, with my family and my business ventures. Over the years the University has grown to become a big part of my sport and business life. The students, facilities and teaching staff are second to none and the University's connection with the community, local businesses and sports clubs is inspiring."
"It's with a heartfelt thank you that I accept this Honorary Doctorate, although I don't think many of my rugby mates will be calling me Doctor Phil!"
Every year, the University confers honorary awards on distinguished individuals who have made an outstanding contribution locally, nationally or internationally or who have supported the University in some way.
They join around 2,500 graduating students at ceremonies in Cheltenham and Gloucester.