Ex-Sunderland player ‘humbled’ by university honour

Steph Houghton (now of Arsenal Ladies). Credit : Arsenal Football Club / David Price.
Steph Houghton (now of Arsenal Ladies). Credit : Arsenal Football Club / David Price.
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AN England football star told the Echo she is “humbled” to be awarded a top honour from the University of Sunderland.

Steph Houghton, a former Sunderland AFC Women’s player, along with world-renowned neurosurgeon, Professor Sir Graham M Teasdale, will receive an honorary degree from Chancellor of the University, athletics legend Steve Cram, as part of the two-day winter graduation ceremonies.

They will receive the awards as graduates celebrate their success with friends, family and loved ones at the Stadium of Light on Thursday and Friday, December 5 and 6.

Steph is an international footballer who became a household name following her goalscoring exploits at the London 2012 Olympics.

Born in Durham, she made her club debut for Sunderland before winning the FA Women’s Premier League Cup for Leeds United Ladies and then signing for Arsenal in 2010.

She has since played 38 times for the England national team and became Team GB’s record goal scorer at the London 2012 Olympics. Steph will receive an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of her outstanding success in 2012.

The footballer said: “I’m thrilled and honoured to be receiving such a massive award from the university, and very surprised as well. I am really looking forward to the day. I’ve been all measured up for my gown.

“It’s fantastic recognition and I am very humbled.”

Steph, who already has a BA in Sports Science after studying at Loughborough University, said it is extra special getting the fellowship from a university in her native North East and where women’s football is recognised and supported.

Professor Teasdale is a world-renowned neurosurgeon, who alongside Professor Bryan Jennett, invented the Glasgow Coma Scale, now used in hospitals worldwide to measure the progress of head injury victims.

He was born in Spennymoor and trained at Durham Medical School and then the Institute of Neurological Sciences in Glasgow.

Professor Teasdale is to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science in recognition of his outstanding contribution in the field of neuroscience and neurosurgery.

University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Fidler, said: “Our honoraries have all made highly significant contributions within their fields and will inspire our graduates as they celebrate their academic success and embark on their careers. We are proud to pay tribute to them.”

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