Paul Ruff has rolled up his sleeve as a blood donor for nearly five decades.

The Kyneton resident last week donated blood for the 700th time with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service in Melbourne.

Mr Ruff, 67, first donated blood when he was 18 years-old.

“A family member had a procedure and needed a blood transfusion and I thought why not,” he said.

“I can give something back.

“When one of our kids was born, my wife needed a blood transfusion. My wife and both my kids became blood donors.”

Mr Ruff regularly donates blood on a two-week basis and has “donated blood all over Australia”.

Just before his 49th birthday, Mr Ruff went in for a regular blood donation but was told he had high blood pressure.

“They told me to get myself medicated,” he said. “If I hadn’t done that, I might have had a stroke or who knows what might have happened.

“I feel very thankful for the blood service. To become a blood donor you might save a life and the life you save might be your own.”

Mr Ruff is aiming to reach his 1000th blood donation.

“It’s one of those things that once you get yourself into the routine it’s self-disciplined,” he said.