TRIBUTE has been paid following the death of a popular retired Keighley GP.

Dr William Thorburn spent his whole career at the Farfield Group Practice, which he joined as a partner in 1981 after he'd trained with the Airedale GP Training Scheme.

He spent three decades at the practice, in West Lane, Keighley, before retiring in 2011 to spend more time with his family and pursue interests – including the outdoors, holidays, gardening and golf.

Dr Thorburn died at the Manorlands Sue Ryder hospice, in Oxenhope. He was 72.

A long-time colleague, Dr Sally Hunter, says: "Many of our staff have happy memories of working with Will, and benefitted from his experience. He had a kind and fun-loving nature.

"He gave 30 years' dedicated service and there will be many patients who remember him fondly as someone who was genuinely interested and caring about their lives.

"It was with great sadness that we learned of his passing.

"For those wishing to express their condolences, cards and messages will be passed on from any Modality practice. His family has requested that any donations are sent to Manorlands hospice."

Dr Thorburn had motor neurone disease, and last year he was featured in the Keighley News when a close friend and fellow retired GP, Ron McGill, completed a gruelling charity fundraising walk.

Dr McGill tackled the Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk, from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood's Bay.

He completed the 188-mile route in 13 days, raising over £5,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association.

The association focuses on improving access to care, research and campaigning for those people living with – or affected by – MND in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Its wide range of services and support include a helpline, benefits guidance, an equipment loan scheme, financial assistance, a communications aids service, a network of care centres and community programmes and an online forum.

"Will and I have been good friends since we met at Leeds Medical School 52 years ago," Dr McGill said at the time of his challenge.

"He was best man at my wedding and we both ended up as GPs in Keighley.

"Our families have been close ever since."

Dr Thorburn leaves a wife, Diane, three children – Tim, David and Jenny – and six grandchildren.

The funeral service is at Adel Church, Leeds, on Wednesday, November 29, at 1.30pm. All are welcome.