A COUPLE of days work as a favour turned into a lifetime career for Johnny Gallagher who has spent more than half a century working for the same company.

Johnny, 76, works for Mone Brothers at the company's Blackhill Quarry in Bramhope - and he has no intention of giving up yet.

He said: "It started out as a favour for Mone Brothers co-founder Phil Mone. I was supposed to be doing a couple of days back in 1966 just to help out the young business but it’s ended up as 52 years - so far."

"In the early years we carried out a lot of muck shifting contracts all over the UK. I spent two years working on the Humber Bridge but I’ve been based at Mone Brothers’ Blackhill Quarry in north Leeds in recent years.

"We have had many staff members who’ve spent three or four decades with the company. They are a great business to work for and treat their employees right. I wouldn’t have been here for over half a century if that wasn’t the case."

Johnny, a self-styled workaholic, came over to the UK from County Donegal at the age of 16 and has never gone a day without work in all that time. He has also had a two-year spell working in Australia.

He has made many good friends over the years including 89-year-old Don Hendrie who retired, after 43 years service with Mone Brothers, at the tender age of 84.

Director Phil Mone, son of the co-founder, said: "Johnny has been a permanent fixture virtually since the company was founded 53 years. His dedication to the job and work ethic are an example to all."

Johnny said: "I’ve enjoyed every day with Mone Brothers and they’re a fantastic team and a great employer but I’ll go when I feel like it."