‘One of the best moments of my life’.
Those were the words used by former Pompey defender Linvoy Primus to describe being awarded a Doctor of the University of Portsmouth yesterday.
When I was growing up I never expected to receive anything like this. It’s an incredible honourLinvoy Primus
The 42-year-old Fratton favourite picked up his honorary degree alongside hundreds of university graduates at a ceremony at the city’s Guildhall.
The honour comes just a year after the Faith & Football founder was made an MBE.
Speaking to The News, Linvoy, who enjoyed a nine-year career at Pompey, said: ‘It’s just been so overwhelming.
‘The moment that really got me was when I walked through the door and felt the swell of anticipation from all the students and their families.
‘When I was growing up I never expected to receive anything like this. It’s an incredible honour.
‘It’s definitely up there as one of the best moments of my life.’
Linvoy gave a rousing speech to students during the ceremony and was cheered by proud parents Newton and Pauline and his son Nathan, 22.
Linvoy has worked with Christians In Sport and co-founded Faith & Football which aims to release the potential in young people.
He is also on the board of trustees for Save the Children, among other charity commitments.
Also handed an honorary degree yesterday was Alex Hildred.
She is head of research and curator of ordnance and human remains at the Mary Rose Museum Trust.
About 400 other graduates packed into the hall to collect their degrees.
Among them was psychology graduate Ross Nedoma, 21, who said his three years in the city would be unforgettable.
‘It feels brilliant to have finally graduated,’ said Ross, of Gloucestershire.
‘I’m ecstatic to be moving on to the next chapter of my life.’
Ross’s proud dad Andy, added: ‘He’s had such a great time in Portsmouth he doesn’t really want to leave.’
Aimée Frampton, 22, said she was relieved to have finished her four-year combined modern languages degree.
‘It’s been a stressful few years. It feels unreal to know it’s all over,’ she said.
Inma Caracuel, 24, of Spain, completed a masters in translation studies and now has a job at a translation company in Southampton but said her time in Portsmouth had been ‘incredible’.