Two friends from St Ives visited the town’s corn exchange earlier this month to donate their 100th pints of blood.

Tony Currington, 74, and Fred King, 68, hit the milestone achievement on February 7 – almost 50 years after their first donations.

“I feel elated really,” Mr King said.

“After 75 pints you aim for 100 and it seems a long way from there. You feel like you're giving back.”

According to the NHS blood service, more than 6,000 blood donations are needed every day to treat patients in England, with about 200,000 new donors required each year.

Mr Currington added: “Over time I'm sure it's done a lot of people a lot of good and saved a lot of lives. They always encourage me to come back and say I've got good blood and that they usually give mine to young babies.”

Well past any fear of needles, the pair started giving blood in 1968 while working at a garage in the town, and think there could be a chance they did their first donation together as well.

“You feel proud that you've given that amount and feel happy that you've done a lot of people a lot of good,” Mr Currington said.

“I would encourage people to go and tell them there is nothing to it really. A lot of people are afraid of a needle, but it's so easy.”

Although the friends have certainly done their fair share, they say they're not ready to stop just yet.

Mr Currington added: “I did have targets as time went on but it got to the 50th and I thought I would make it to the next milestone. When I got to 100 though, I thought I would call it a day, but now I've booked another one.”

The pair were joined at the corn exchange by their families on the day, including Mr King's four-year-old granddaughter, Isabella.

“She loved it,” he said.

To find out where you can give blood, visit blood.co.uk.