SOMERSET-born footballer Tyrone Mings has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Education by Bath Spa University. 

Mings, who was born in Bath and attended Millfield School in Street from 2009 to 2011 on a football scholarship, received the honorary doctorate at the University's Newton Park campus on Wednesday, November 24. 

The ceremony was attended by academic leaders of the University, students, and members of the local community, including representatives of Bath City Football Club.

Aston Villa captain Tyrone Mings said: "I'm honoured to receive this Honorary Doctorate of Education from Bath Spa University and I’m immensely proud to have my closest family and friends with me here today to see me receive it.

"They have all played a massive part on my journey to the top of the national game, through the highs and lows, I couldn’t have done it without them."

After being released from Southampton's academy aged 17 for being 'too small' in 2009, Mings balanced a non-league career with working as a barman and mortgage advisor. 

He then had spells at Yate Town and Chippenham Town before he signed his first professional contract at Ipswich Town in 2012. 

In 2015, he joined newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth and, in January 2019, he signed for Aston Villa, initially on a loan deal until the end of the season. 

He was part of the Aston Villa team that gained promotion to the Premier League at Wembley in May 2019, and he signed for the Birmingham-based outfit on a permanent contract that summer for around £20 million. 

He has made 16 appearances for England - including involvement in three games at the European Championship - since making his debut in October 2019 against Bulgaria. 

Mings added: "I've always strived to do my best in whatever situation I find myself in, whether that's as a mortgage broker, helping my business grow, or more naturally on the pitch for Aston Villa and England.

"I hope that I can inspire others to realise their goals in life."

At the University's graduation celebration event, guests were invited to ask Mings questions about his career and the factors that contributed to his success. 

Guests also learnt about the footballer's initiatives to encourage younger generations, such as his football academies in Bristol. 

Professor Sue Rigby, vice-chancellor of Bath Spa University, nominated Mings for the award. 

Somerset County Gazette: ACTION SHOT: Tyrone Mings playing for Aston Villa against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park (Image: Jonathan Brady, PA Wire)ACTION SHOT: Tyrone Mings playing for Aston Villa against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park (Image: Jonathan Brady, PA Wire)

"I am thrilled to be able to confer the award of Honorary Doctorate of Education to Tyrone Mings," said Professor Rigby. 

"His determination, motivation and success is an inspiration to our students, the local community and any young person who strives to be the best they can be.

"He had a difficult route to the top of his profession, not least being released from a Premier League academy at the age of 16.

"He did not, however, let this set him back or dissuade him from achieving his goal.

"Tyrone Mings is an example of never giving up, continuing to work hard and doing things your own way when no other way is presented to you.

"He is an outstanding and inspiring individual and I heartily welcome him to the Bath Spa University community."

On Saturday, Mings' Aston Villa side beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park.

Matt Targett and John McGinn scored for Villa, before Palace centre-back Marc Guéhi pulled a goal back for the Eagles in the 95th minute. 

Beyond his club captaincy and honorary doctorate, Mings holds the honour of being Somerset's highest-rated player on EA Sports' football game FIFA 22.