Cycling champion Sid Barras to receive honorary degree
Sid, originally from Middlesbrough, had 200 wins in his 18 years as a professional, including the 1979 double of British national road race champion and British national circuit race champion. In addition to this, Sid won 150 amateur races before he turned professional.
He will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate at 11am on Friday 25 July, for his contribution to sport.
Sid commented: "When I opened the letter from Leeds Metropolitan University telling me I had been awarded an Honorary Doctorate, I was astounded and had to read it several times.
"Surely, I thought, this sort of thing doesn't happen to a lad from down town at Middlesbrough who left school at 15 with virtually no qualifications. I now feel vindicated from the guilt which I'd always felt at going out training on my bike instead of studying. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this gesture. I can honestly say it has helped to make all the hard work and sacrifice worthwhile."
Father of professional cyclist, Tom Barras, Sid was one of the UK's foremost racing cyclists in the 1970s-80s and a national champion on three occasions.
He won a stage at the Tour of Majorca and the first stage of the Tour of Switzerland, taking the yellow and green jerseys in the process. Sid famously beat Eddy Merckx in 1977 at the Eastway Circuit in London, finishing second to German Didi Thaurau. As part of the legendary Leeds cycling scene, Sid still rides daily and has mentored many of Yorkshire's young cyclists and champions of today.
In addition he plays a pivotal role in the Dave Rayner Fund, a charity supporting up and coming riders.
Leeds Metropolitan University Vice Chancellor, Professor Susan Price, said: "We are delighted to recognise such a wide variety of individuals who have made a significant contribution to their field and are each an inspiration to our students and graduates. This summer's awards are varied, with key people from a range of backgrounds including business, arts, law, sport and the music and entertainment industry. We are very much looking forward to welcoming them to our Headingley Campus to celebrate with us as we recognise the achievements of our graduating students."