POPULAR author Matt Cain said it was a “real thrill” to receive an honorary doctorate from the

University of Bolton


Mr Cain has become a Doctor of the University for his outstanding contribution to literature and the community.

He said: “I am proud to be from Bolton. I love the town – it inspires me.

"This doctorate has given me another shot of inspiration.”

Mr Cain was born in Bury and brought up in Bolton and told how he did not enjoy living here as a teenager because of the way he was treated for being gay.

He said he actively moved from the town to get away from homophobia.

But he added that he had seen a huge change in how gay people were accepted in Bolton since his experiences as a teenager.

He said: “The town has become much more accepting of LGBT+ people. I have seen that as I have returned here over the years. I now love Bolton.”

In 2017 Mr Cain crowdfunded his third novel, ‘The Madonna of Bolton’, after receiving more than 30 rejections from publishers, reportedly due to its gay protagonist and theme.

The title then went on to reach its funding target in seven days and the project was backed by celebrities including David Walliams, Mark Gatiss, Lisa Jewell and Gok Wan.

Mr Cain was awarded his Honorary Doctorate on the final day of graduation ceremonies.

Others honoured on the day were Rebecca Long-Bailey, Salford and Eccles MP; The Chief Executive of the LGBT Foundation Paul Martin OBE and his innovative ‘Alternative Graduation’; and actor David Ricardo-Pearce, who took the lead role in Hamlet at the Octagon Theatre.

Mr Martin said: “I am delighted and humbled to receive this accolade.”

He had been impressed by the university organising the graduation for students, considering the current circumstances.

He said: “It has been amazing to see how creative the university has been – it is so important that students get the chance to be recognised.”