19/12/2003

Sports stars receive honorary degrees

Two of Northern Ireland's most popular sports stars have received honorary degrees at the University of Ulster.

Peter Canavan, captain of the 2003 All Ireland champions, Tyrone Gaelic Football team, received the honorary degree of Doctor of the University in recognition of his services to sport.

The younger of the two Canavan brothers who both played for Tyrone, Peter is considered by his fellow players, supporters and commentators to be one of the greatest forwards to have played gaelic football.

This year he won a record fifth All Star in addition to his first All Ireland senior medal. He has also won five Railway Cup medals with Ulster, one as captain.

Meanwhile, Irish rugby international David Humphreys was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of the University in recognition of his services to the sport. Educated at Ballymena Academy, Queens University, Belfast and Oxford University, he was Irish Schools captain in 1990, and made his debut at A level in March 1993 against Wales.

In February 1996, he won his first full cap against France and he held his place for the following games against Wales and England. Between the 1996/97 and 1998/99 seasons, he was a regular member of the international squad. In January 1999 he captained Ulster to victory in the European Cup.

After that, he was ever-present in the international side for the Five Nations. He also played in both summer tests against Australia.

David, who is now Ireland’s most capped out-half, has scored over 450 points, an all-time Irish record. Most recently, he played for Ireland in the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

(MB)

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