Perhaps he should be receiving the degree of Doctor of Notes (both for those he has hit and those he has earned), rather than that of Doctor of Letters, but next Friday will see one of the greatest names in rock honoured by his hometown university.

And not before time.

Paul Rodgers is, quite simply, at the top of his game as a revered rock vocalist and perennial entertainer.

And when he steps up alongside the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, to receive his degree at a lavish Teesside University bash next week it will be an honour fully deserved and, no doubt, gratefully received.

You see Rodgers is as humble now as he was when he set off on his long rock journey from Middlesbrough many moons ago.

Even after fronting Free, Bad Company, The Firm and Queen – selling close on 100 million albums in the process – there is no ego tainting this individual’s character.

And he will be genuinely touched that an academic body feels his contribution to the arts is worthy of a prestigious honorary degree.

Just as Rodgers was visibly moved at this month’s Classic Rock Awards dinner, when Firm collaborator and long-time friend Jimmy Page joined Jeff Beck in presenting him with the 2009 Classic Songwriter award.

Never expecting the accolade, though he has surely been next in line for some time, the accomplished frontman accepted it with typical grace and obvious pride.

At a time when D-list celebs get saturation coverage on shows like I’m A Celebrity and X-Factor, it’s difficult to understand why a musician of Rodgers’ calibre is still far from being a household name in his own country.

And yet the fact remains that he could walk down most of the streets in downtown Boro without ever being recognised for the respected rock icon he is.

Perhaps that’s the way Rodgers likes it.

He’s got all the trappings of fame, a devoted and committed fan base, a beautiful wife and the admiration of fellow professionals the world over.

Yet he doesn’t face the daily anguish of paparazzi in his face and tabloid rumours disrupting his day-to-day life.

He doesn’t have to answer to anyone, pander to the public or manage his press. He just gets to make brilliant music with a bunch of mates.

With all due respect to Archbishop Sentamu, F1 engineer Rob Smedley, and romantic novelist Adele Parks there is only one individual who should take centre stage at Middlesbrough Town Hall next Friday.

But Rodgers being Rodgers, he probably won’t.