Tony Pulis collects honours at Staffordshire University graduation (PICS)
STOKE City manager Tony Pulis has received an honorary degree from Staffordshire University.
The Potters boss has been recognised for his achievement in taking the side into the Premier League and maintaining their top flight status last season.
He also received the award for his contribution in helping sports journalism students at the university.
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Pictures from the graduation ceremonies at Staffordshire University
And Tony told The Sentinel he was delighted.
He said: "It's fantastic to be recognised by the community. This honour is very special. I wish my primary school teachers could be here to see me receiving the award as I think they would be very proud.
"It is absolutely wonderful to be invited here today and be part of the graduation ceremony.
"The university is a big part of the community, as is the football club, and it's great to see the two organisations join forces to benefit students pursuing a sporting career."
He added: "We've opened the doors for students who want to further their education in the media side of things and gain valuable experience along the way.
"We've always catered for young people at the club and work very hard to provide whatever opportunities we can to help them progress in the field of sport.
"I've worked with some very talented young people, which I've really enjoyed."
Tony's footballing career spans 34 years after starting out at Bristol Rovers aged 17. He obtained his FA coaching badge at the age of 19.
After taking his first steps into management at Bournemouth in 1992 as player/coach he then became Harry Redknapp's assistant.
Tony was given the manager's job at Stoke City in November 2002 and helped the club avoid relegation on the last day of the season.
He left the club in 2005 to take over as manager at Plymouth Argyle but returned to the Britannia in 2006.
Tony guided Stoke City to promotion on the last day of the 2007 to 2008 season and secured their Premier League survival with a 2-1 away win at Hull on May 9 this year.
Mitch Pryce, head of sports journalism at Staffordshire University, said Tony thoroughly deserves recognition.
"It's a huge bonus for us to have a close working relationship with someone like Tony.
"He's allowed the students to interview players and they often have work placements in the club's press office which is great hands-on experience."
The 36-year-old from Dresden graduated yesterday after completing an MA in Community Practice.
He said: "I work quite closely with Tony in areas such as getting the players involved in community projects and supporting good causes and in identifying local kids to play for the academy's junior teams."