Page last updated at 11:59 GMT, Friday, 25 July 2008 12:59 UK

Botham receives honorary degree

Sir Ian Botham describes the day he received the honorary degree

Cricket legend Sir Ian Botham has been awarded an honorary degree by a university in Leeds.

The former England captain, aged 52, received his honorary doctorate in sports science from Leeds Metropolitan University at a ceremony earlier.

He was knighted last year for his services to cricket and for raising millions of pounds for charity.

Accepting the accolade, he said: "It is a really moving thing when something like this happens."

The highlight of his career came at Headingley cricket ground in Leeds during the series against Australia in the summer of 1981.

'Extraordinary talent'

His 149-not-out, against Australia, turned the tide of the test series and set up what was to become known as "Botham's Ashes".

Introducing the sportsman at the university ceremony, British Lions rugby coach Ian McGeechan described his 1981 achievement as "probably the greatest turnaround in English cricketing history".

Mr McGeechan added: "It is with great pleasure that I present to you for an honorary doctorate a legendary cricketer who has transcended his sport and whose use of his extraordinary talent has gone beyond sport and touched all our lives."

Sir Ian finished his cricketing career as England's leading test wicket-taker, having played 102 matches for his country and taking nearly 400 wickets.

Since then he has raised about 10m for Leukaemia Research by embarking on a number of long-distance walks.

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