The manager of Ilkley ladies football team is celebrating gaining a doctorate after a roller-coaster journey to achieve it.

Tony Gill was awarded his PhD at Leeds University after being inspired to study by his good friend Keith Cooper, who died before he could finish his studies.

“He was one of the nice guys but was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and passed away at the age of 66,” said Mr Gill who has since raised more than a £1,000 towards MND research.

Mr Gill himself endured four lots of surgery on his knees, a change of jobs and the loss of three people close to his heart before completing his PhD on schizophrenia medication.