Lucy Hughes (centre) with daughters Jennifer, Alysia, Siona and Eloise
Lucy Hughes can relax today after receiving her degree - after seven years study and bringing up five kids in the process.
Lucy's youngest two daughters were 3 and 4 when she
BA (Hons) in Education and Curriculum Studies back in 2000.
Jennifer is now 10 and Eloise, 11.
The pair, along with other sisters Siona, 14, and Alysia, 13, were there to celebrate their mum's success.
It was a double celebration for the family as they are all Sunderland supporters, and seeing their mum receive her
award on the pitch at the Stadium of Light was the icing on the cake.
For most of the time during her
part-time study, Lucy
, from South Shields did a full-time job as a school teaching assistant.
husband Dave frequently works away.
has also had two hospital operations.
study time in the evenings and at weekends was often scheduled to fit around the girls' training and football matches.
The 36-year-old said: "My whole family, including my Mam and Dad, have been absolutely marvellous, and I couldn't have done any of it without them."
Son Nathan, now 17 and in the Army, used to coach the junior girls' team and helped take his
sisters to training.
took them and would sit working with her
books until the sessions were over.
Daughters Eloise and Jennifer are both promising goalkeepers and play for Jarrow and Boldon Girls, respectively.
caught the study-bug when Eloise started at St Mary's RC Primary School in Jarrow.
It was at a time when parents were being asked if they would like to join a 10-week course helping with literacy and numeracy work in an Education Action Zone initiative.
explains: "I found I really liked being in the classroom with the young children.
Sunderland University lecturer Wendy Thorley, who has been involved in many of the courses that Lucy followed, said: "I admire Lucy's determined approach, not only to her studies but to life in general.
is considering options for taking a further qualification to become a teacher.
Meanwhile there's another family milestone to celebrate.
Only two days after her
is off with the family to attend Nathan's passing out parade in the Army.
And one day, perhaps, her
daughters may be turning out for Sunderland Ladies.