A PIONEERING surgeon from Oswaldtwistle whose work ‘saved countless lives’ is to retire.

Professor John Wallwork, who attended Accrington Grammar School, has worked at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge during a 30 year career at the forefront of transplant surgery.

He was part of the team that carried out the world's first successful heart-lung transplant in America and in 1984 and he performed the first successful operation in Europe at the hospital.

Stephen Bridge, chief executive of Papworth Hospital, said: “John has made an outstanding contribution to heart and lung surgery and transplantation.”