Pride Park visits are truly in Paul's blood
BEING a Derby County fan and going to Pride Park Stadium is in the blood for Paul MacArthur – quite literally.
For 30 years, he has been a Rams supporter and, during most of that time, Paul has also donated blood.
The 62-year-old said he has never missed a chance to give blood since becoming a donor in 1985, going to three sessions each year.
Today, he books his appointments at donor sessions held at Pride Park Stadium – and said he enjoys looking out at the pitch while he gives blood.
Paul, of Kingsclere Avenue, Oakwood, said: "When you're a supporter, you tend to just be in the stands.
"Giving blood at Pride Park, you get to look out at the pitch, go to places you don't normally go and so on. It's a nice experience.
"At the same time, I feel useful and I know I'm doing something good."
Paul's sentiment is being echoed by the Derby Telegraph – as part of our Save a Life campaign.
We want to find 500 new blood donors in Derbyshire by the end of this year.
Paul said: "It's really simple – if people don't give blood, there will be no blood out there for those who need it.
"But only four people out of 100 actually give blood.
"I think, for a lot of people, it comes down to fear, perhaps of the needle or just the process in general.
"But I think it's worth at least trying – if you don't try, you don't know how you'll feel about it."
Paul started giving blood while at Rolls-Royce.
He worked on the turbine systems at the Sinfin plant and retired three years ago.
He said: "We used to be given half the day off to do it, so you got to do something important and have time off at the same time.
"But, on a serious note, it was a good thing to do and it has now become a force of habit for me.
"I'll keep going for as long as they let me.
"Things do seem to change a lot over the years when it comes to giving blood – like how we used to have to rest for 15 minutes after giving blood and now you only stop for about two.
"You still get the drink and biscuits though, which is nice."
One of the highlights of giving blood for Paul came last month, when he was invited to Derby County's Moor Farm training ground.
He, along with other blood donors, dressed up as presents to launch NHS Blood and Transplant's Christmas appeal – Give the Gift that Costs Nothing, Give Blood.
Paul said: "That was really interesting because we got to meet Rams manager Nigel Clough, which I obviously enjoyed.
"But you don't need things like that to make you appreciate giving blood. You only have to watch something like Casualty on television.
"When you see, hear or think about people going to hospital and receiving blood, and you imagine they might be getting your blood, it's a wonderful feeling."