HONOURED: Holding, pictured here with Lord Kamlesh Patel, UEL's Senior Advisor.
Celebrating a triumphant year for the university’s sports teams, the University of East London on Thursday proudly presented a special Lifetime Achievement Award and honorary degree to Jamaican cricket legend Michael Holding.
The event, held before a packed audience at the Emirates Stadium – home of Arsenal Football Club, was also attended by Jamaican High Commissioner, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, along with Olympian rowing star Mark Hunter MBE.
“It’s a great honour to be receiving this award. It means a lot," Holding said. "When I was a kid my mother always told me ‘make sure you get a piece of paper behind your name, and now I’m a doctor. It’s a great feeling to know that the University of East London wants to give me this award.”
In spite of his easy-going persona, Holding (who turns 60 next February) incited fear in the hearts of his opponents globally and was often referred to by the chilling nickname, Whispering Death. Regarded by many as the greatest fast bowler of all time, he was also a key member of the legendary West Indies team that dominated international cricket at a time of global race riots and apartheid, securing an exceptional winning streak that lasted from the mid-70s to the early 1990s.