A popular Clayton-le-Moors street cleaner is on the mend after a quadruple heart bypass operation – but has been forced to finally hang up his brush.
Paddy McLaughlin’s last shift was on Christmas Eve when he suffered chest twinges while shovelling ice on the streets of Clayton.
On Boxing Day, the 67-year-old, who has been keeping the town’s streets clean for two decades, had a heart attack.
On February 15 Paddy underwent the major six-hour operation and he is now taking things a bit easier at his Cumberland Avenue home.
Despite passing normal retirement age of 65, he had already sent in his application to work for another 12 months.
Paddy said: "I had some pains in my chest and they found out I had diseased arteries. It’s disappointing to have to give up the job but saving my life is more important.
"It will be three months from the operation before I’m fully back on my feet but I’m doing a few chores around the house and I’m not boring the wife just yet!
"I’m thinking of getting a job as a lollipop man though to get me out of the house and get the fresh air that I’m used to."
When the children of a class at Mount Pleasant School were asked in 2002 who was the most important person in Clayton-le-Moors, Paddy easily topped the poll.
And last July Paddy and wife Barbara joined community heroes to share tea and cake at the Queen’s annual garden party.
Councillor Janet Storey said: "He has been a part of Clayton for as long as I can remember. We gave him the first ever award from the area council.
"Always he has gone above the call of duty and will be missed with his famous barrow and brush. I hope he does become a lollipop man as he would carry out those duties with the same care and diligence."