Sporting legends receive University Fellowships

13 July 2016

Two sporting legends have received Honorary Fellowships from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Wasim Akram, former Lancashire County Cricket Club captain, and Blackburn born Carl Fogarty, accepted the prestigious award today, Wednesday, in front of a packed audience at Preston’s Guild Hall.

Known as the ‘Sultan of Swing’ for his left arm deliveries, Wasim was given the award for his significant contribution to cricket during his sporting career. Four time World Superbikes champion, Carl received his accolade in recognition of his services to sport.

Wasim said: “It’s a massive honour and a privilege for me to receive this Honorary Fellowship. I never thought I would be wearing academic robes so to get this award from such a fantastic University is absolutely overwhelming.

“I love Lancashire, I enjoyed playing for Lancashire, I still have a house here, I come back to visit my friends and everyone is so friendly. The people are so hard-working and that is what I learned from my time playing here, you have to work hard to achieve success.”

During his county career he won the EBC trophy and Axa League with the Old Trafford based team. He made his Test debut for Pakistan in 1985 and holds the record for taking the most wickets in a World Cup, being one of only three bowlers to have taken four hat-tricks in International Cricket and the highest score by a number eight batsman in Test cricket. He also holds a Pakistani record of taking 414 wickets in 104 matches in Test Cricket, 502 One Day Internationals (ODI) wickets, and he remains the first bowler in International Cricket who has taken 400 wickets in both forms of cricket.

He added: “Nothing is easy in life, there are no short cuts but these graduates are in a privileged position to accept good opportunities and my message is clear, hard work prevails.”

Carl’s competitive debut on two wheels came in motorcross racing but he soon moved into road racing. In 1990 the proud Lancastrian achieved a double win on the Isle of Man and in 1994 he claimed the coveted World Superbike championship for the first time. He then went on to win it again a further three times in 1995, 1997 and 1998.

He said: “It’s always nice to receive recognition for your achievements and I’m honoured that the University of Central Lancashire chose me to receive an Honorary Fellowship. I perhaps should have tried a bit harder with my education so hopefully this award can inspire others to carry on with their studies and pursue their dreams.”

They collected their awards in front of new School of Film, Media and Performance graduates, their family and friends.

A spokesperson for the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) said: “We are delighted to be able to confer Honorary Fellowships on two sporting greats who have a great affinity with our county.

“Carl Fogarty is enormously proud of his Lancastrian roots and his determination to become the best in the world was legendary. To win the World Superbikes championship once was hard enough but to win the title four times is a feat which hasn’t been surpassed.

“Wasim Akram’s performances for Lancashire County Cricket Club will always be remembered with great fondness. His inspiring performances with his trusty left arm brought success in the domestic game while his award-winning career flourished on the international stage with Pakistan.

“Both sportsmen have achieved so much success during their careers and they are great examples to our graduates and our wider University community.”

Nearly 4,000 students are graduating from the University this week.

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