Any Calder Valley visitor to the former Co-op Metro department in Todmorden for many years will as likely as not met Keith Rudman.
Some will have been at functions where Rudders has been the DJ and occasionally witnessed him in the role of peerless MC putting guests at their ease, or hosting gigs with rock band The Circles.
Still more will have seen him on the bowling green, where he his prowess as seen him win a string of trophies.
What relatively few will realise is that having the condition Cystic Fibrosis (CF), Keith’s parents were told when he was born in July 1963 that he might not live past his 20th birthday.
Now having passed his 50th birthday, Keith, with journalist Steve McHugh, has told his story in a new book, Living With A Killer: A Life With Cystic Fibrosis.
It reveals his daily battle against the condition which still claims many lives and how with the help of family, friends, medical professionals and more often than not himself he has led as full a life as possible, holding down a challenging career which sees him head up a major department store business in Rochdale as well as his social and sporting successes, which include some sports commentary work for Sky TV.
The condition is something Keith has never shouted about but having passed his half century feels his story can act as an inspiration to other CF sufferers and their families.
“It’s not a medical journal, it is about how I have lived with it and tried to get on in life and not let it get in the way,” he said.
“Hopefully, it will be a bit on an inspiration to anyone who has Cystic Fibrosis and every penny is going to the adult cycstic fibrosis unit at Wythenshawe, which is where I visit.”
Issued just in time for Christmas, and with all proceeds going to the Pearce Ward - the adult cystic fibrosis ward - at the University Hospital of South Manchester at Wythenshaw, it costs £10 and is available at Todmorden Information Centre and at Grandma Pollard’s fish and chip shop in Keith’s native Walsden.
Keith says Facebook page Living With a Killer - A Life With Cystic Fibrosis is attracting worldwide interest.
More on Keith’s story in a New Year Todmorden News/Hebden Bridge Times feature.
In the meantime, he and Steve have penned a book that is hard to put down.