A LEADING healthcare expert - and ardent Clarets fans - has been awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Prof Brian Duerden, 59, who has led the fight against hospital-acquired infections like MRSA and clostridium difficile, has been commended for his services to medicine and charity.

The former Nelson Grammar head boy, who now lives in Chepstow, south Wales, is also a keen supporter of the Tropical Health and Education Trust, which provides medical assistance to countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

He has also previously spearheaded the work on a new meningitis C vaccine as deputy director of the former Public Health Laboratory Service.

Today he is the Department of Health's inspector of microbiology and infection control, which incorporates his role as the clinical director of the national programme battling hospital superbugs.

The Edinburgh University graduate, who also attended Walverden and St John's primary schools, and his family have close ties with the Burnley and Pendle areas.

He said: "I am a lifelong Clarets fan but I am more likely to see them in wet and windy places such as Cardiff or Bristol than Turf Moor. I still have strong links with the area."

His wife Marjorie is another ex-Nelson Grammar student, who lived in Brierfield before attending the London College of Music.

And his late father, Cyril, was well-known for his contribution as player and official at Nelson Cricket Club for more than 50 years.

His mother, Mildred, was headteacher at Bradley Primary School during the 1960s and 70s and also now lives in Chepstow.

Brian himself played for Nelson's junior side and 2nd XI, and was the club's scorer in the mid-60s. He is still an avid Lancashire CC supporter.

Before rising to his Whitehall posts, he was a lecturer at universities in Edinburgh and Sheffield and later professor of medical microbiology at Cardiff University's medical school.