BOLTON Atlantic Challenge rower Mark Brocklehurst says he feels “humbled” to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton.

Mr Brocklehurst, aged 52, says he will be receiving the award on behalf of his team mates who together rowed 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

Mr Brocklehurst is one of 19 people being recognised at a special ceremony to install Sir Ernest Ryder as the second Chancellor of the University at the Town Hall tomorrow.

The managing director of the Sharples Group will be made a doctor of humanities for services to charity — which included the ambitious charity challenge to raise money for the junior mentoring programme at the club.

Mr Brocklehurst said: “The doctorate is on behalf of the team, it could not have happened without them. I was told about it six weeks ago and have not been able to talk about it. I feel humbled to have been awarded this, which is on behalf of the team.”

Mr Brocklehurst, aged 52, Matt Nuttall, aged 44, Nick Griffiths, aged 42, and Finn Christo, aged 32, completed their epic 3,000-mile adventure to Antigua to raise the money in February.

He added: “My wife Tracey and son Tom, who is nine, will be at the ceremony along with my sisters, Julie Gaskell and Liesl Brocklehurst, who flew to Antigua to see us.

“I am really looking forward to the ceremony where there are quite a few big names.” Pomp and ceremony will be in abundance as actress Martine McCutcheon will be made a doctor of arts for services to entertainment and Chris Eagles a doctor of science for services to sports.

The special ceremony marks the start of a special celebratory year as the University of Bolton commemorates 190 years since its origins at Bolton Mechanics’ Institute.

The event will be followed by three days of graduation ceremonies at Victoria Hall during which Manchester United star Ryan Giggs will receive an honorary doctorate for outstanding contribution to sport.