Brendan Rodgers admits he was overwhelmed with a sense of pride after being awarded with an honorary degree by the University of Ulster on Monday.

The Liverpool manager returned to Northern Ireland to pick up the honour after being recognised for an 'outstanding contribution to sport'.

Rodgers was made a Doctor of Science (DSc) and was among 13 "inspirational" people to receive an accolade from the university.

He told "It means a lot. The education system here in Ireland as a whole is very highly regarded, so to be offered the honour to receive the doctorate today is something that is a huge privilege for me - especially from a prestigious university like the University of Ulster. For myself and my family, I'm very, very proud.

"I actually loved school, I enjoyed it, both at primary and secondary, but I never went on to any further education - my education was in sport and life, so anything I've ever earned has been through more practical knowledge as opposed to academic.

"[My family] laughed and enjoyed it and, like everyone else has, went down the route of calling me 'Doctor'! It's great for them and hopefully it can inspire them in whatever way. It's a great privilege for me to receive it.

"That's the great part about learning; it's not just about taking on board, it's about being committed, focused and putting in the practical side of that, which is to learn and want to go out and be the best you can be. That's something I've always done and will continue to do."


During the ceremony, Rodgers addressed young students in attendance and hoped to offer them inspiration as they aim to embark on successful careers of their own.

"It's a little bit surreal because I've always seen myself as a learner and so when I get asked to do such talks, I'm always curious as to what I can pass on that might be of any use to anyone," said the manager.

"When you do get asked, it's important you can deliver a message that hopefully some of the people of the younger generations can walk out the door and be inspired by. From being from such a small place here in Northern Ireland, hopefully it can provide some sort of inspiration.

"There are no barriers; you have to be committed and organise your life in order to go and achieve. The most important thing is you have to take the responsibility - you cannot blame anyone else if you don't achieve in life. It's all about your own responsibility.

"If you can do that then hopefully you can deliver excellence and deliver a performance in your professional and personal life that can make people proud. That was the message I tried to put across."

Rodgers has worked assiduously since joining Liverpool in 2012 in his attempts to help return the club back to the pinnacle of the domestic and European game.

However, despite the outstanding progress the Reds have made under his tenure, he remains adamant there is plenty of hard work still to come.

"I'll need to continue to work hard," said Rodgers. "There are big challenges for me at Liverpool. We've had a good couple of seasons now and taken the club forward.

"I'm very determined and ambitious for the club to succeed. That means continuing to work hard, continuing to fight for us to be the best we can possibly be, both domestically and in Europe.

"I still have a lot of work to do and this award won't change that, that's for sure."