RETIRED businessman Peter Whittle celebrated his birthday in generous style - by asking for donations to charity instead of gifts.

Mr Whittle, of Almondbury, celebrated his 80th birthday on March 21.

But instead of getting presents from his family and friends, he asked them to give to an appeal being run by Almondbury woman Fiona Wondergem.

In total, he raised £500.

Mrs Wondergem, 42, is going on a trek in Borneo in June to raise cash for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

The mother-of-three lost her mother, Kathleen Meehan, to the disease three years ago.

Shortly afterwards she discovered she had the disease herself.

She is now in recovery.

Mr Whittle was inspired to support her cause when he heard her speak about bowel cancer at a Rotary club dinner.

He said: "She was such a courageous lady, to talk to a group of men about a very personal problem. It was the first time she had done such a talk.

"It surprised me to learn about the disease, because it is something people don't talk about.

"I've had a lot of presents over the years and I felt that on a special birthday it would be nice to do something to help other people.

"It was a fantastic birthday and I was delighted to be able to support her."

Mrs Wondergem said: "It was a very generous thing to do and I am really touched that he thought to do it for me."

Mr Whittle is well known in Huddersfield for his work with Huddersfield Rotary Club and for his business, Peters.

He founded the store on King Street in 1982 after leaving his job as joint managing director of Kaye's department store.

Later, Mr Whittle became chairman of Peters and his son, David, became managing director.

* People can support Mrs Wondergem's appeal by giving online at