Leicester City’s Premier League winning manager, who led the underdogs to a seemingly impossible victory against odds of 5000-1, has been awarded a Doctor of Arts degree by De Montfort University (DMU) for his contribution to both sport and city.
The newly titled Dr Claudio Ranieri, originally from Rome, received the honorary accolade in front of hundreds of fellow graduands at a football themed celebration held yesterday, Wednesday 25th January.
In his acceptance speech, Dr Ranieri spoke of an electric atmosphere in last year’s pre-season dressing room and thanked both the university and his league winning team:
“I say thank you to De Montfort University for this graduation, but before I must say thank you to my players, because if I am here it is because my players made something special last year.”
The honour was given in recognition of his incredible triumph with Leicester City, as well as the graceful way he achieved it, winning his first league title at the age of 64.
In a speech made to the assembled crowds, DMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard said: “Leicester City’s achievement last year was a thrilling feat that captured the hearts and minds of football fans worldwide, and of everyone with a love of adventure and a sense of the unlikely.
“Long before he won the title, Claudio Ranieri won the admiration and respect of our home city, and all of us at DMU. We are delighted to honour him today for his footballing achievements, for what he has done for our city of Leicester and for his personal qualities which represent all that is best in sport.”
The ceremony also included a catwalk event in which Austria and Leicester City full back Christian Fuchs’ range of clothing for his #NoFuchsGiven fashion label was modelled by DMU students.
Fuchs is teaming up with DMU to offer students on the university’s fashion courses an opportunity to develop designs for the brand, with one winner having their work released into the #NoFuchsGiven range.
DMU has worked in partnership with Leicester City F.C. for five years, during which time hundreds of students have gained valuable experience working at the club in departments relevant to their degree, such as graphic design, business, marketing and journalism.
Some of the Foxes overseas players, including Okazaki, have also honed their language skills with DMU’s English department, and DMU is working closely with Thai owners and shirt sponsors King Power to look at introducing DMU/King Power scholarships for Thai students, DMU scholarships for King Power employees and #DMUglobal visits for students to work with King Power charities in Asia.
By Jennifer Morris