You can’t fault his work ethic.

At the age of 76, Max Lambert has no intentions of retiring – quite the opposite!

“My ambition is to die working,” says the Cleckheaton-born businessman who is drawing on decades of experience in the property sector to head Rastrick-based Property Remedial Damp Proofing Ltd.

His first brush with the property business came in 1946 when Max and his parents went on a one-week holiday to Blackpool – and his father spent his winnings on the horses on buying the boarding house in which they were staying!

Max attended grammar school in Blackpool, where he also earned 6d a day helping local character Oyster Bill sell shrimps and winkles on the seafront.

After leaving school in 1956, Max served his articles to become a chartered auctioneer and at the age of 22 went to London to work for estate agent Healey & Baker, now Cushman & Wakefield.

From there, he was headhunted to work with Bradford commercial estate agent R Stewart Newiss & Co in Bradford.

“I worked for them for about six years during which time I became a chartered surveyor,” says Max. “The company was involved in the development of sites for supermarkets or housing. I handling the housing projects for them.”

Over the next few years, Max went on to work for a number of property development firms in Bradford before he was given the opportunity to work with two property investors from East Yorkshire.

“They put up £250,000 to invest. I would buy a house every two weeks for them, do it up and put it back on the market within six weeks,” says Max.

For a time, he ran his own estate agency in Wakefield before spending a year in Saudi Arabia working for a housebuilder.

The plan was for his wife Margaret to join him, but Max returned to England – jobless – after repeated efforts to get her a visa were rebuffed.

During the Thatcher era, Max joined forces with another business contact to handle Right to Buy deals before joining his wife in a new business venture, Elland Remedial Services, 25 years ago.

Margaret, his wife of 46 years, died six years ago, after which Max formed Property Remedial Ltd with his son Matthew.

Now Max has his own business, Property Remedial Damp Proofing Ltd – investigating and tackling problem buildings beset with issues such as rising damp, mold, structural movements and bellying walls.

Says Max: “I have been involved in property in one way or another for many years. It just fascinates me.

“Every building I look at has something intriguing about it – even a back-to-back terrace house has something about it.

Max Lambert of Property Remedies, Rastrick

“When I go shopping, I’m always looking upstairs and downstairs and finding the architecture.

“A lot of buildings are from the Victorian era. They were fabulous architects and designers. Their workmanship was superb.

“I have always been intrigued by the fact that you can switch something from one thing to another – churches that have been converted into apartments or derelict barns into houses.”

Max is a busy networker. He has been attending BNI Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium for about five years and also attends the Property Investors Network, which meets at the Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top.

He’s also a member of Trades Hub, which has its meetings at Bradford’s Odsal Stadium.

“I do about two networking events a week,” he says. “I joined BNI after my wife died and I reckon I now know 250 people who my wife never knew.”

Max is well aware of the ups and downs of the property sector. “I’ve been through a couple of miners’ strikes that affected us, but the last recession was worse than either of them,” he says.

“The property sector has always been volatile.

“However, a lot of property investors are geared up for it. They set up their portfolios so that they don’t have all their eggs in one basket. They have about three exit routes when they do a deal”

Despite his business commitments, Max still finds time for his other great love, sport.

“I have been treasurer of Rastrick Cricket Club for about 12 years,” he says.

“We had our best season in 50-odd years. We won the third division and the second team were promoted a well. We’re hoping for a good year again this year.”

Until recently, Max was also treasurer of Rastrick Big Local – a committee set up last year to distribute £1m of funding for the area from the Big Lottery Fund’s £150m endowment to help worthy causes in 150 areas across the UK.

Property issues are demanding on his time at Rastrick CC, too.

“We want to increase the size of our building to provide ladies toilets and changing rooms so we can cater for a women’s cricket team,” he says. “We also want to put a new roof on the main building.”

Son Matthew plays for the first team while several of Max’s grandchildren are also keen cricketers. “I love the game,” says Max. But he’s no fan of T20 and its brand of biff-bash cricket. “I love test cricket – what I call ‘proper’ cricket,” he says. “I grew up watching Lancashire – and Yorkshire as well. My mother would give me half a Mother’s Pride loaf, packets of crisps and bottles of pop and put me on the bus to Old Trafford to watch players like Cyril Washbrook, Brian Statham and Len Hutton.”

Max was a Leeds United fan for 42 years, but fell out with the club when controversial chairman Ken Bates took over and upset many of its bondholders with his new plans for ticketing. “Mr Bates arrived and I stopped going” he says. “I’m not tempted to go back.

“I watch all sports and it’s hard to name one I don’t watch. I love horse racing and golf on the television. I converted the house to accommodate a full-size snooker table and I have watched motor sport at Le Mans and Monaco.

“But my only claim to sporting fame was having a single trial with Fleetwood Town. I wasn’t that good!”

However, he has taken to heart something his mother said to him as a child. “Never give up,” he says. “That’s what she drove into me.

“I was never the brightest kid in school – but I got my 11-plus and went to grammar school. That’s because I never gave up!”

Role: Director

Age: 76

Family: Widowed with three children

and 13 grandchildren

Car: Mercedes E Class

Holidays: I enjoy Nice and a visit to Monte Carlo. I’ve been to Australia twice and I’ve watched motor racing at Le Mans and the Monaco Grand Prix

First job: Working on the beach at Blackpool for Oyster Bill selling shellfish. He gave me 6d a week

Best thing about the job? I love meeting people

Worst thing about the job? I can’t say ‘no’’ to anyone. I’ll alter my weekends to fit if a customer wants to see me

Business tip: My mother used to say ‘don’t give up – you can do it’.

Work: Property repair

Site: Rastrick

Phone: 01484 714107