Former Workington Reds star Paul Stewart has received an honorary degree for his "incredible" work on safeguarding.

Ex-England, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Liverpool player Stewart, who played for the Reds from 1998-2000, has been recognised by the University of Salford.

The 58-year-old, who bravely revealed several years ago that he had been a victim of child sexual abuse at the hands of a youth football coach, has since been a leading advocate for safeguarding in the sport.

He has visited and worked with a host of clubs and organisations - including the Salford university's social work team.

In 2016 Stewart went public on his horrific experiences and went on to write a powerful autobiography titled 'Damaged'.

He later set up his own company, Paul Stewart Official Excellence in Safeguarding, and has contributed to the University of Salford's social work programme for six years.

In a statement, Stewart said: “I am totally honoured to receive this award - it supersedes any of my football achievements, including playing for England and my FA Cup winner’s medal.

"Safeguarding is my passion and the future protection of children.”

In his graduation speech, Stewart dedicated the honorary degree to the families and loved ones who have lived with the trauma of abuse.

Lecturer Sarah Riding, who nominated Paul for the honorary award, said: “Paul has equipped so many students with knowledge and insight that is transformative to their practice.

"He has become integral to the development of our first-year social workers.

"The incredible impact he has can be seen through the countless testimonials we get from students who have been deeply moved and inspired by his work.”