By Joseph Keith
Leeds United icon Eddie Gray MBE was honoured by Leeds Metropolitan University this afternoon as he received an Honorary Doctorate of Sport Science.
The University’s School of Sport acknowledged Mr Gray’s glittering career with Leeds, where he rippled the net 68 times from the winger position and featured 561 times throughout his 20 years at Elland Road.
He said: “To be here at Leeds Metropolitan University and to receive such a prestigious award makes me feel very proud; I’m absolutely delighted for myself, my friends and my family.
“When I came down to Leeds, the one thing that Don Revie taught me was to have the confidence to believe in your own ability and have the courage to use it and never walk out the door thinking to yourself, I could have done a little bit better. Give it your all and if it doesn’t work out, you know you’ve tried your best.”
Mr Gray, who was born in Glasgow, rounded off his playing days with the Whites by managing the club in 1982 for three years before going become David O’Leary’s assistant manager at the club in 1998, where he was part of the Leeds team that reached the semi-final in both the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League.
Leeds Metropolitan University Vice Chancellor, Professor Susan Price, said: “Eddie Gray is much respected in the world of sport and a name synonymous with Leeds United, a football club to which he has shown great commitment throughout a sporting career spanning six decades.
“It is fitting to recognise Eddie’s inspiring achievements and extensive contribution to sport with this Honorary Doctorate, alongside our students from the School of Sport.”
Others honorary degrees awarded by Leeds Metropolitan included: Leeds Met graduates and one half of the Rudimental music group Piers Aggett and Kesi Dryden, Coronation Street boss Stuart Blackburn, former national cycling champion Sid Barras and director of The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas and Brassed Off film Mark Herman.