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Former football hero Wayne Allison - known to Sheffield United fans as The Chief - has collected his PhD from Sheffield Hallam University.

It's taken seven years of hard work to gain his doctorate working part-time but Wayne says it was worth it.

He said: "I feel emotional and fantastic about being awarded a PhD because this is a major achievement for all the hard work I have put in.

"I've enjoyed working with my supervisors at Sheffield Hallam - Professor Edward Winter and Damian Kingsbury - because they kept me focussed. It's a great process but you need to be single-minded about undertaking something like this."

Wayne, 42, added: "My family is proud of me and, I think, relieved that I've finally completed it!

"I've really enjoyed the work and I'd recommend everyone to take up a PhD if they can do so - especially other footballers because they have the time to do it."

Wayne started his PhD whilst playing for the Blades in the 2002/03 season and his subject was on the effects of high-intensity exercise on decision-making in soccer.

He is currently teaching at a college in Huddersfield and now has ambitions to teach in higher education and take up more research in sport.

Wayne said: "It still hasn't sunk in that I'm now Doctor Wayne Allison.

Former football hero Wayne Allison has collected his PhD
Wayne started his PhD whilst playing for Sheffield United in the 2002/03 season
Wayne collects his PhD from the Vice-Chancellor

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"I was known as the Chief while I was playing football but this is really something special, a great achievement which I've really enjoyed reaching."

Professor Edward Winter, a senior academic at Sheffield Hallam, said: "Wayne's PhD is thoroughly deserved. He is a thoughtful and very bright student who deserves to go on to great things.

"The Chief has made good and we are all very proud of him!"

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