ONE of Newport's best-known sons came home to be honoured in the last ever Newport University fellowship ceremony tonight.
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis, 55, was at the ceremony at the Caerleon campus and was awarded an honorary fellowship alongside London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist, cyclist Mark Colbourne, 43, from Tredegar, and Rhys Hutchings of rap group Goldie Lookin' Chain and now a Labour city councillor for the St Julian’s ward.
Businessman Simon Gibson OBE, the chief executive of the Wesley Clover Corporation, was also given an honorary fellowship by Newport University, which merged with the University of Glamorgan last week.
A delighted Pulis told the Argus: " I am proud to be invited to receive the award, as I was born in Newport, so it is a great feeling for the city.
"I have been away for a long time so it’s nice to come home to receive this."
He said his brother and sister still live in the city.
Defender Pulis, who was born in Pill, played for Newport YMCA and Bristol Rovers in his youth career, playing for Newport County between 1984 and 1986, and going on to play at Gillingham and Bournemouth before becoming Bournemouth's player/coach in 1992.
He has also managed Gillingham, Portsmouth, and Plymouth Argyle, and began his second stint in management at Stoke in 2006, taking them into the Premier League.
In 20010/11, he guided Stoke to their first ever FA Cup final, losing 1-0 to Manchester City, but clinching his side a place in European football.
Rhys Hutchings, who became a Newport City councillor last year, said he briefly studied web design at the university but left.
He collected the award with his mum - who is a fan of the Premiership club Stoke City.
The Newport rapper said: "This is the second or third best day of my life.
"My mum is coming with me. She’s a massive Stoke City fan. I think she's coming to see Pulis.
"It’s fantastic for me and my mum. We wrote a song about old Tone called the Tony Pulis rap.
"Back then it was the dark ages. Luckily a member of the band Mystikal was a computer whiz and he was able to put together our website."
Mark Colbourne added: " It's a great privilege to be honoured my by a local university for my achievement in London and to come back home to Wales to be recognised by my home country.
"I feel very appreciative and very privileged."
And Simon Gibson, OBE said: 'It is a great honour, I left Newport to go to Canada and returned 22 years ago.
'I have been involved in Newport ever since.
"To get a fellowship from the university at the end of its existence is a great honour. I am saddened but wish the institution well"
Prof Stephen Hagen, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the new University of South Wales, said: "Newport’s university is delighted to honour such a diverse group of people who have all inspired the communities of Wales and in the region of Gwent in different ways.
"From those who have been successful in business to sport and popular culture, our Honorary Fellows are individuals that we can all be proud of as we enter the next exciting chapter in our history as the University of South Wales."