Page last updated at 17:17 GMT, Friday, 10 July 2009 18:17 UK

Honorary degree for Stoke manager

Tony Pulis
Tony Pulis has guided Stoke to their best league finish since 1980/1

Stoke City Football Club's manager Tony Pulis has received an honorary degree.

The ex-Plymouth, Portsmouth, Bristol City, Gillingham and Bournemouth boss was given a doctorate by Staffordshire University for his services to sport.

Pulis, 51, helped Stoke to finish 12th in their debut campaign in the Premier League - their best finish in the league since the 1980/1 season.

Speaking at the university ceremony, he said he was "absolutely delighted" and it was "very, very special".

'Flying colours'

Pulis added: "I've been in this area now for five-and-a-half years and to get this award is different from the background I'm from. But I'm very proud - a very proud man."

Pulis became the Stoke manager for the second time in the summer of 2006, after originally taking charge in 2002.

He spent about £25m on 12 permanent signings and two loan players last season and the Potters came close to finishing in the top 10 in the Premier League after bookmakers predicted they would be relegated.

The manager said: "The most important thing in life is to prove to yourself that you can do it.

"The players were written off, it wasn't just me written off and they've come through with flying colours."


Stoke City Football Club's manager Tony Pulis says it is "very, very special" to receive an honorary degree from Staffordshire University

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