Sunbury’s Robert Henley has been named a ‘bloody legend’ for exceeding the milestone of 50 lifesaving blood donations this National Blood Donor Week.

The 57-year-old policeman has been giving blood since he was 18.

Mr Henley said he vowed to donate blood as soon as he reached the legal age after a blood transfusion saved his life when he was 14.

As a teenager he needed donor blood after a pushbike accident ruptured his spleen.

“I said I’d return the favour,” he said. “It’s been with me ever since.

“Whenever I could I’ve called into the blood bank.”

This week the Australian Red Cross Blood Service is thanking exceptional donors such as Mr Henley to mark National Blood Donor Week (June 11-17).

Blood service spokesperson Wendy Todd said she hoped Mr Henley’s efforts would inspire more Sunbury residents to become bloody legends.

“National Blood Donor Week is the time to take that first step of making an appointment to give blood,” said Ms Todd.

She said winter was traditionally a tough time for the blood service because many donors couldn’t give blood due to cold and flu symptoms.

“We’d love to see some new donors give blood at Sunbury Blood Donor Centre to help ensure that we maintain blood stocks over the winter period.”

Mr Henley also encouraged others to donate.

“It’s such a simple process. The hardest part is filling out the forms.”

To find out more about donating blood visit donateblood.com.au or call 13 14 95.