Tommy Bowe lines out to receive doctorate from University of Ulster
Ulster and Ireland rugby star Tommy Bowe got into a scrum of a different kind when he joined hundreds of graduates from the University of Ulster at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast yesterday.
Flanked by his proud fiancée and former Miss Wales Lucy Whitehouse, the winger received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science for his outstanding contribution to sport.
During his career, the 30-year-old has also played for Ospreys and the British and Irish Lions. He said the news that he was to be awarded a doctorate of science had led to a few raised eyebrows and provided a few laughs among his fellow players on the Ulster team.
He said he had been humbled when he found out he was to receive the award – but it had caused amusement within the Bowe family.
"Both my brother and sister are academics and have studied abroad and have Masters and are very intelligent," he said.
"I, unfortunately, had a few too many knocks to the head playing rugby, but to be the only doctor now I think is something that I hold with a lot of pride."