Former Crystal Palace player Geoff Thomas was told he had just three months to live when he was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2003.

Now 15 years later, Thomas has thanked the medics who saved life.

The ex-footballer, leukaemia survivor and charity fundraiser told students and academics that he wouldn’t have been here without the work of Birmingham’s Professor Charlie Craddock and his team, as he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Birmingham City University.

"He guided me through a year of treatment, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and through the arduous stem cell transplant which saved my life," Mr Thomas said.”

From 1987-1993, Mr Thomas played for the Eagles, making 195 appearances in the process.

He has now dedicated his life to raising funds for blood cancer patients since recovering from leukaemia, starting the Geoff Thomas Foundation, which raises funds to fight cancer.

“I’ve come back (to Birmingham) to cure Leukaemia and we’ve raised £1.5 million this year to help extend the haematology centre to make it a state-of-the-art facility," he said.

"It actually opens today and I’m so proud of that.

"A little old charity which Charlie set up is doing some great things, we are moving forward and we are making a difference.”