Real Lives: Joseph has given the gift of life again and again

Tributes have been paid to a blood-giving Bonnyrigg granddad whose 100 donations have saved and improved 300 lives.

In recognition of 40 years' service as a blood donor, Joseph Muir, 66, has been awarded a silver quaich by the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.

Mr Muir is modest about his achievement and said: "You don't give blood just to get an award. Its nice to get medals but that's not my priority.

"In the old days you could only give twice a year, then they changed it to three times. Giving blood has never been a problem for me. I have never been the sort of person that's frightened of a wee jag."

His wife of 43 years, Irene, is proud of his community spirited actions.

She said: "He does it because he wants to help people. That's what he's like, he'd do anything for anyone."

Mr Muir goes three times to the local blood donor centre and over 40 years has only missed a few sessions because of flu.

He said he has no plans to stop giving blood, and as his wife says "If he's able, he'll do it!"

Mr Muir said he would like to encourage people who don't think they have the time to donate blood to think again and help other people.

He said: "It's dead easy to give blood, and then have a wee break in the canteen with some tea. Maybe it doesn't seem as important to young people with their busy social lives, it's a different outlook, but I'm from the old school."

Now retired, Mr Muir remains passionate about football and was signed for Hibernian FC at the age of 14 before a broken ankle scuppered his football career.

Undeterred, he returned to the pitch and has been refereeing for decades.

He said: "So between that and the giving blood, I must be a fit person."

Mr Muir spends much of his time outdoors and likes to walk his dog Mia and his daughter's two huskies.

Mrs Muir said: "With this winter weather and no football for a distraction, I'm glad he has the dogs to keep him occupied."

Edinburgh donor services manager Vincent Mooney said: "I would like to thank Joseph for his dedication to giving blood, having amassed an amazing 100 donations over the years.

"The 300 patients he has helped remain anonymous so, on their behalf, I would like to pass on their gratitude to him.

"Demand for blood is greater over Christmas and New Year. Giving blood this Christmas could be the greatest gift you'll ever give a stranger."

To register as a blood donor call 0845-90 90 999 or visit www.scotblood.co.uk