FILM star Patrick Stewart made contact with an old school pal from Mirfield who has a terminal illness.
The surprise telephone call from Los Angeles was a fantastic early Christmas gift.
And it came thanks to local people's supreme efforts to get a message through.
David Butler, 60, is being cared for at Kirkwood Hospice.
The father of two, who has 11 grandchildren and one great grand-child, was struck down by cancer earlier this year.
He went to school with Patrick and is also a keen Star Trek fan.
Son-in-law Martin Senior, 40, of Newsome, said: "David's time is now short and it's become a blessing that he's now with us on a daily basis.
"My brother-in-law Tony Crawshaw and myself really wanted to give him something to smile about."
David, a stock controller for Tesco who lives in Lockwood, has always told his family stories of his schooldays with Patrick, who is two years older. The pair lived just 150 yards apart as boys.
So what better way to cheer him up than with a message from his old friend?
But tracking him down wasn't simple. The family asked everyone they could think of - at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, the University of Huddersfield and other organisations, as well as surfing the net.
They urged as many people as they could to try their best to get through to Patrick - and the actor ended up with five different messages, including one from Enid Cheesbrough at Huddersfield University that included Martin's phone number.
Late in the afternoon on Wednesday, the training officer for J T Ellis Furniture at Aspley was getting ready to leave for the day when the phone rang.
A deep voice said: "Hello, this is Patrick Stewart."
Martin, also a self-confessed Trekkie, thought someone was having a cruel prank and almost slammed down the phone.
But the tones were unmistakable. He says: "I was so flustered I forgot half of the things I wanted to say to him. But we chatted for 10 minutes and he asked all about David's health and asked me to pass on his best wishes."
Martin then telephoned David - who was thrilled.
From his bed at the hospice, he told the Examiner: "We used to play out together when we were friends at Crowlees Junior and Infant Schools.
"But it was only at secondary school, at what's now Mirfield Free Grammar School, that he began to stand out with his acting.
"He was liked by everyone - there was no sour grapes over his success."
David's wife Heather, also a Trekkie, said: "He'd been asleep but he sat straight up in bed when Martin told him. He was really excited.
"It was great to know he was thinking of David."
Martin said: "It was a waiting game. We didn't know if Patrick would get a message at all.
"But thanks to the goodwill of people we didn't even know as a family, David's had an early Christmas gift to treasure.
"There are big stars like Patrick but there are so many little stars, too.
"Without a second thought, they made the effort to bring a smile to the face of a very ill friend."