AN award-winning cheese-maker who ‘lived for his hobby’ has died after battling cancer for the second time.

Bob Kitching, the founder of Leagram Organic Dairy in Chipping, died after a three-year battle with the extremely rare thymic cancer, which causes tumours in the thymus gland in the upper chest.

His fight with the disease was the second time he had battled cancer, having survived Hodgkin's lymphoma when he was 11.

Bob was well known in the dairy business having won Best Lancashire Cheese in the Royal Lancashire Show in 2001 and being awarded Lancashire Life’s Food Hero of the Year 2010.

His daughter Faye Kitching, who carries on his legacy of cheese making, paid tribute to him as a ‘phenomenal man’.

She said: “He was a showman who loved to teach people about cheese. He was an animal lover and kept six red deer but he lived for his hobby which was making cheese, that was his life.”

Bob, who grew up near Hurst Green, was diagnosed with thymic cancer three years ago after getting pains in his chest.

He had an operation to remove the tumour and went into remission last February but started deteriorating again in June. In September he was told the cancer was incurable.

“My dad was told that the cancer could have been caused by the radiation treatment for the cancer he had when he was younger,” Faye said. “He was always so positive and said he had been given an extra 50 years he wouldn’t have if he had not had the radiotherapy when he was 11.

“He lived life to the full, loved to laugh and was so determined, he kept fighting all the way to the end.”

His funeral takes place at Our Lady and St Michael, in Alston Lane, Longridge at 4pm on Friday.