When Fixby man Colin Blair went to receive his MBE from the Queen, he didn’t expect a blast from the past.

For it so happened that the man behind the very reason Colin was alive to attend the ceremony was also there - the man who 16 years previously had saved his life.

Huddersfield vascular surgeon Dr Munther Aldoori, who in 2000 performed emergency lifesaving surgery on Colin, was also attending the prestigious Buckingham Palace ceremony as his wife Dr Nisreen Booya was awarded the title.

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Colin, 60, is the University of Huddersfield’s Estates and Facilities Director and was told in December he had made the honours list for his 27 years of service to higher education and the town.

But while staying at a hotel in London with wife Julie, 50, his daughters Laura, 32, Holly, 30 and granddaughter Edith, six months, Colin discovered by sheer coincidence that Dr Aldoori was staying in the very same hotel ahead of the ceremony.

Colin Blair receiving his MBE at Buckingham Palace

Colin said: “I was eating my breakfast when I looked up and saw him walk into the room.

“I recognised him and went up to him and we had a proper hug.

“It was extremely emotional - we had used up a box of tissues crying before even going to the palace!

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“I told him: ‘You’re the reason I’m here today’.”

Colin was admitted to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary A&E in February 2000 after excruciating pain, which turned out to be a perforated bowel as a result of Crohn’s disease.

“Dr Aldoori knew straight away and operated on me. If he hadn’t done I would have died. I can’t thank him enough.”

Dr Munther Aldoori with MBE Colin Blair from the University

Since then Colin has helped oversee multi-million pound investments in the University which has transformed it into one of the UK’s most buzzing campuses.

His latest work is the £27m Oastler Building which is taking shape at the Shorehead side of the campus which is rapidly dominating the skyline.

WATCH video of the construction of the new Oastler Building below

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As he received his MBE from the Duke of Cambridge, he said he was filled with honour.

“It was very exciting and I told him I had been speaking with his uncle (the Duke of York, Chancellor to the University) a few days earlier.

“He knew straight away I was from the University of Huddersfield . The whole experience made an exciting day even more exciting.”

Colin Blair along with University chancellor Prince Andrew the Duke of York (left) and vice-chancellor Professor Bob Cryan CBE (right)