25 July 2002
Popular women's cricketer Rachael Heyhoe-Flint MBE was amongst leading figures from the worlds of sport, technology and science, charity, entertainment, politics and social justice, to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bradford.
The University also honoured Trevor Foster MBE, Brian Noble, Brian Critchley, Emeritus Professor Rosemary Cramp, Sir Christian Bonington, Elizabeth France and Mohammed Amran, alongside more than 1,750 graduates of the University of Bradford.
Professor Chris Taylor, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: "We are pleased to be able to recognise the achievements of such a talented and distinguished individual and we are delighted that Rachael Heyhoe-Flint could join with us in celebrating the achievements of our many graduates."
Rachael said: "It was a great honour to receive my degree from the University of Bradford. It felt a little like 'This is Your Life', but I feel there is a great more still to do. I will certainly continue to help develop and support the management of sport in the future."
Referring to the Bradford-Leeds Universities Cricketing Centre of Excellence, which is based at the University of Bradford and encourages community cricket as well as nurture new talent, Rachael said: "There are great strides being made in cricket nationally but there is such a lack of sport in schools generally so to have facilities such as the Cricketing Centre of Excellence means a great deal for the future development of the sport. I certainly wish there had been such a Centre around when I started to play cricket."
Rachael first played cricket for England in 1960 and captained the side from 1966 to 1977. In 1964, she represented England in hockey and also played hockey, squash and golf for Staffordshire. In 1972, she was awarded an MBE for her services to cricket. She was the captain of England's first women's team to play at Lord's Cricket Ground in 1976. In the same year, she achieved a top score of 179, still a record score for an English player in Test Matches in England.
By the time she ended her international cricketing career in 1983, she had made a record 51 appearances for her country. Rachael taught Physical Education from 1960 to 1964 before becoming a journalist, then Sports Editor at the Wolverhampton Chronicle. She later turned freelance as sports writer for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph. In 1973, she was appointed TV's first woman sports presenter/reporter with ITV's World of Sport. In the same year, she was named Best After Dinner Speaker by the Guild of Professional Toastmasters.
In 1997, she was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands and Main Board Director of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club. She is also Vice-President of the Cricketers' Club in London. In 1999, she was named as one of the first female Honorary Life members of the MCC and, in 2001, she was made President of the national charity Lady Taverners.
She has also written a number of books, including Fair Play and Heyhoe, and is now a Public Relations and Sports Marketing Consultant. Rachael was awarded a Doctorate for her contributions to women's cricket in general and for her achievements as Captain of the England Women's Cricket Team 1966-77.
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Last updated 24 July 2002
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