TWO blood donors from Holmfirth were guests at a ceremony to thank the region's most dedicated donors.

Rodney Hill, 54, and Wendy Carter, 40, were presented with engraved crystal plates at Manchester United's Old Trafford ground to mark their 75th donation of blood.

Mr Hill, a haulage worker, started giving blood 35 years ago.

He said: "I always thought giving blood was a good cause.

"But I only realised just how important it was when two of my brothers needed blood.

"One needed blood after an accident and one during a triple heart bypass."

Ms Carter is an ambulance driver at St Luke's Hospital, Crosland Moor.

She started giving blood in Scotland 18 years ago after a friend encouraged her to go along. She said: "Being an ambulance driver, I regularly see people who need blood transfusions.

"It makes me realise how important regular donations are.

"I would like to think that if I needed a blood transfusion there would be someone to donate for me."

The awards were presented by 14-year-old Matthew Bonner, from Handforth, near Stockport.

While a baby, he was diagnosed with a rare genetic immune disorder. Over the years he has needed many transfusions of specially donated white blood cells to boost his immune system.

Just 6% of the UK population eligible to give blood are active donors, and of that number, around 1% reach 75 donations each year.

Rachel Roberts, a spokeswoman for the National Blood Service, said: "Rodney and Wendy have reached a remarkable achievement.

"It represents a lifetime of dedication to helping save lives.

"It is especially important around Easter that people follow their example and give blood.

"There are no sessions on the bank holidays, so it is even more important that everyone makes a special effort to give blood after the break."

For more information on becoming a blood donor, call 0845 7 711 711 or visit