A FLEET man has been praised for donating more than 100 units of blood.

Bob Butt, of Stanton Drive, was honoured at an awards ceremony in Covent Garden, London, along with 30 other long-term donors.

He has been a blood donor since 1959, during which time he has witnessed many changes in the mobile service system.

“Giving blood nowadays is quite quick, stress-free and painless,” said 68-year-old Mr Butt, who has lived in Fleet for more than 30 years and has now given 102 units of blood.

“I urge you to help if you are fit and well.

“If your blood group is rare, then your donation is even more precious, but all groups, especially 0 positive, are routinely used in huge quantities.”

At the ceremony, all long-term donors were thanked for their efforts.

Those present included donors of 75 and 100 units of whole blood, and those who had given 500 units of plasma.

One person had donated 1,000 units of plasma, while a married couple at the event had each given 100 units of whole blood.

“The guest speaker was a man who had turned the disaster of life-threatening leukaemia into an amazing personal crusade to raise funds for blood disease research,” said Mr Butt, who worked at the former DRA for 40 years before retiring as a higher scientific officer in 1994.

“His was a saga of such epic proportions — including pole-to-pole adventures, that the rest of us felt quite eclipsed.

“He was most recently seen on television as the slowest ever competitor in last year’s London Marathon, when he completed the race wearing a deep-sea diving kit.

“He is an amusing and inspiring person to hear and one who owed it all to blood donations.”

Anyone interested in giving blood can contact 0345 711711.