A JOHN Wayne fan from Oswaldtwistle has scooped the trip of a lifetime after clocking up 40 years at work.
Brian Armstrong was rewarded for his long service with an all-expenses paid trip to Wintersett, Iowa - the birthplace of his hero - by his bosses at Timpson Shoe Repairs.
The 60-year-old, who works at the branch in Accrington's Arndale Centre, will spend seven days touring the star's homestead and town and the surrounding Midwest plains next February, together with his wife Hazel.
The couple, who have two children, Janet, 33, and Paul, 35, are also due to visit Brisbane in Australia later this month for Janet's wedding.
Brian, who has collected more than 120 of his hero's films, was told of the surprise trip by Timpson chairman and chief executive, John Timpson, and his son, UK managing director James Timpson.
He said: "I was absolutely struck dumb when they told me what they had planned. I've been a huge fan of 'The Duke' for almost all my life. James even lets me keep a big picture of my hero in the shop.
"John is an exceptionally generous and kind-hearted man and I'm sure there can be few bosses in the country of his stature who know their staff so well and would do such a kind thing."
Hazel added: "I've had to compete with John Wayne all my married life and I suspect the talk of this holiday will probably dominate Janet's newly married life too.
"But it is a wonderful way for John Timpson to thank Brian for his loyal service. He's absolutely over the moon and if the truth be known, so am I."
John Timpson said: "Brian has given 40 years outstanding service to this company. His record is exemplary and James and I felt very much that we should recognise his tremendous achievement."