THE man who brought the Tour de France to Yorkshire is to be honoured in his home county.

Following the huge success of the spectacular event calls are already being made for tourism chief Gary Verity to appear in the next honours list.

But the University of York has got in first – and later this month will confer an honorary doctorate on the Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive.

He is one of 16 people who will be presented with the honour at the university’s graduation ceremonies on July 16, 17 and 18.

“He has raised the profile of Yorkshire on a national and international level,” said a university spokesman.

In his spare time Mr Verity is an award winning sheep farmer who lives on a working farm near Leyburn.

And since his late wife Helen was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2004, he has raised more than £450,000 for cancer charities in Yorkshire.

Others to be honoured include two Nobel Prize winners - Professor Sir James Mirrlees and Professor Ahmed Zewail .

Also being honoured is County Durham-born Mairi MacInnes, the distinguished author of seven books of poetry, two novels, and a memoir.