Sheffield Hallam honours 'inspirational figure' and local squash champion Nick Matthew

Sheffield's own World Champion squash star, Nick Matthew
Sheffield's own World Champion squash star, Nick Matthew
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It is fast approaching graduation time in the city of Sheffield.

Alongside the 14,000 or so students attending ceremonies at the City Hall next month, will be ten inspirational figures from a variety of fields. Most notably, world renowned filmmaker, Ken Loach and international squash champion, Nick Matthew, MBE, who are both receiving honorary doctorates from Sheffield Hallam University.

Filmmaker, Ken Loach

Filmmaker, Ken Loach

England's most successful squash player of all time, Nick Matthew has won the World championship on three occasions and the British Championship seven times.

In 2006, the Sheffield-born athlete became the first Englishman to win a British Open title in 67 years and, after career-threatening shoulder surgery, came back to win the prestigious trophy for a second time in 2009..

Loach, now 80 years old, has a career spanning more than half a century. He is most famous for the TV drama Cathy Come Home and the film Kes, both from the 1960's.

In more recent years he gained yet more critical acclaim for the films Sweet Sixteen and The Wind That Shakes the Barley. He also directed a little known film called The Navigators from 2001 about a group a Sheffield rail workers.

The doctorates are awarded for outstanding contributions to a particular field. Clive Stafford Smith OBE is one of Britain's most powerful lawyers. He specialises in death penalty cases and other civil rights issues, including the release of every British prisoner from Guantanamo Bay.

David Moody spent most of his working life in the Sheffield steel industry, first with United Steels and later as chairman and managing director of Spartan Sheffield Ltd, he was invited to become Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire in 2004.

Professor Philip Jones was the Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam for eight years. During his time in charge, the University became one of the largest in the UK.

Sir (Robert) Alan Langlands is honoured for services to education. Professor John Martin has pioneered work into stem cell research for the heart.

Baroness Zahida Manzoor has been recognized for her campaigns against racism and gender inequality, while Beatriz Pont is an internationally acclaimed expert on educational policy and reform.

Finally, Baroness Vivien Stern CBE, has been honoured for her work as a campaigner and writer on global issues around penal reform and social justice.