REFEREE Howard Webb this week collected an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University – and thanked it for its help in preparing him for the 2010 World Cup final.
Hallam’s psychological and physiological staff had played a “significant” role in getting him ready for the biggest game of his career, he said.
Howard, aged 40, from Rotherham, took part in 12 high-altitude simulation sessions in the university’s environment chamber before setting out for South Africa. He also praised its training of the sporting elite of the future, and the way it provides support for the “business of sport”.
“Sport and education stand hand in hand in developing the good citizens and champions of tomorrow. Success is not just about the track or the pool but about business, industry and commerce as well.”
Howard, a police officer, was awarded an honorary doctorate for his services to sport in front of a packed audience of graduands at the City Hall.
There was also an award on Tuesday for Prof Julietta Patnick, the Sheffield woman who has led the NHS in developing screening programmes for cancer. Over 32 years in the NHS, she has overseen the implementation and continuation of comprehensive standards for screening of breast, cervical and colorectal cancer.
Yesterday (Wednesday) an honorary degree was being presented to Alex Pettifer, Hallam’s former director of estates, who retired in April last year after 28 years at the university. He masterminded a £120m upgrade of the university’s estate and secured a further £75m of investment.