A retired cattle breeder has stunned a Midland university by donating pounds 1.2million to finance research into brain diseases.
The windfall from Mr Ted Pridgeon will pay for the employment of a professor of neurosciences at Warwick University and gives a massive boost to a drive to set up a medical school.
Mr Pridgeon said he was donating the fortune because he wanted to encourage research into the treatment of brain disorders.
Jubilant university officials described the gift as another piece in the jigsaw of their campaign to establish a medical school.
Warwick's growing eminence in medical matters has shocked Birmingham where senior doctors are battling to win public support for the creation of a new University Hospital.
Mr Pridgeon said it had taken a number of years to plan the donation to Warwick.
He said: "I have known so many people, some relatives and friends, who have suffered from neurological diseases.
"I thought it would be rather nice if ever I got into the position where I could do this. I thought I would like to do it and this is what I am doing.
"I never disclosed my thoughts until I was in a position to do it."
Mr Pridgeon, who said he "would not see 80 again", said he valued his own mental abilities.
He said: "I am still active mentally and I hope to stay that way. I always have to have something to think about."
Mr Pridgeon and his wife, Myrtle, a retired doctor, live in Leamington Spa but bred cattle in Lincolnshire where he specialised in pedigree Lincoln Reds and Herefords. Before starting his farming career, Mr Pridgeon was a member of the British rifle-shoo ting team. …