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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 July, 2005, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK
O'Neill receives honorary degree
Martin O'Neill
Martin O'Neill has received an honorary doctorate
Former Northern Ireland football captain and ex-Celtic manager Martin O'Neill has received an honorary degree from Queen's University Belfast.

The former Queen's law student was awarded an honorary doctorate for services to sport.

O'Neill, who was born in Kilrea in 1952, was awarded an MBE in 1982 and an OBE in 2004. He won 64 caps for Northern Ireland.

He resigned as Glasgow Celtic manager this year to look after his ill wife.

Speaking after receiving his degree, O'Neill said his wife's illness had put life into perspective.

He said: "I would think about great things were like Spain in 1982 (Northern Ireland's World Cup campaign) or the defeat by Motherwell recently (which cost Celtic the league title).

"But when I got the news about my wife's illness those things did not really matter.

"Life and health are more important than anything."

O'Neill was joined at the ceremony by his wife Geraldine, his daughters Aisling and Alana and his four sisters.

During his playing career the 53-year-old captained his country during their excellent run in the 1982 World Cup and won the European Cup twice with his club side Nottingham Forest.

He left his studies at Queen's to sign for Forest, where he was managed by the legendary Brian Clough.

He retired due to a knee injury in 1985 and started his managerial career with Grantham.

Following successful spells at Wycombe and Leicester, where he won the League Cup, he became Celtic manager in 2000.

Under his leadership, the Glasgow giants won three championships, three Scottish cups and one league cup and also got to the final of the UEFA Cup.

O'Neill is one of a number of honorary graduates who will receive degrees at Queen's this summer including broadcaster Gloria Hunniford, journalist Fergal Keane and former Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir George Bain.

O'Neill becomes OBE
31 Dec 03 |  Celtic

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