HUDDERSFIELD swimming legend Anita Lonsbrough is to get an award from the university in the city where she lives.

The 62-year-old Olympic gold medal winner will be awarded an honorary fellowship at Wolverhampton University.

She will be presented with the honour on Monday.

Anita grabbed the gold medal in a world record time in the 200-metres breaststroke in the Rome Olympics of 1960.

These days, she is the swimming correspondent of the Daily Telegraph.

Her husband, Hugh Porter, who won a Commonwealth Games gold medal in cycling, will get a fellowship at the same ceremony.

Anita was just 19 when she beat her great rival, the German Wiltrud Urselmann, at the Olympics.

She had already won two gold medals at the 1958 Commonwealth Games.

The teenager from Huddersfield became one of Britain's most famous swimmers when she stormed to victory in Rome.

During her career she set five world records and won a European championship gold medal, as well as five golds at the Commonwealth Games.

In the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, she carried the flag for the British team at the opening ceremony.

In 1962, she was the first woman to be voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year and received the MBE for her services to swimming in 1963. Her voluntary work has seen her sit on such committees as the SportsAid Foundation and Sport England Lottery Panel.

She received a hero's welcome e in Huddersfield after Rome - but in the days of true amateurism she was soon back at work as a council officer.

She had taken unpaid leave from her job - and "an adjustment" to her working hours to provide extra training time.

"Olympic success did not bring riches, but it opened a lot of doors for me, so it was worth all the hard work. It gave me a nice life afterwards," she remembers.

Her 1960 victory was a triumph over adversity. In the months before Anita had to battle against gastro-enteritis, shingles and gastric flu.

Doctors didn't given her a chance of making it to Rome.


* Born August 10, 1941 in York and later moved to India, where her father was a regimental sergeant major in the Coldstream Guards.

* The family moved to Huddersfield in 1955, where her record-breaking career was to be moulded in Ramsden Street Baths and Cambridge Road Baths.

* Worked as a clerk in the Huddersfield Borough Treasurer's Department.

* Married champion cyclist Hugh Porter in Huddersfield in June, 1965 and moved to Wolverhampton. The couple met on the plane on the way to the Tokyo Olympics the previous year.

* A block of flats in Southgate is named after her.