AT 98-years young, time has finally run out for one of the all-time great legends of fell-racing, Bill Teasdale.

Although a Cumbrian lad from Caldbeck at "back o' Skiddaw", the Lakeland shepherd was a very much revered character and personality in Craven and the Yorkshire Dales as he was in his native Lake District. Indeed, especially in his glory days of the late 1940's and throughout the 1950's and into the 1960's, Bill Teasdale was as much a household name across a massive swathe of the North of England as the illustrious likes of Stanley Matthews, Len Hutton, and Roger Bannister.

A craggy, weather-beaten figure, he seemed to be everyone's favourite at every event. And, seldom disappointed. Indeed, tough as old boots, he made light of any mishaps including him winning the Kilnsey Crag Race one year, with blood running into his socks due to a serious head wound.

And on another bloody Kilnsey occasion, he would incur further numerable stitches to his arm and shoulder due to an opponent jumping down upon him in Kilnsey's then notorious "chimney". Another typical Teasdale defiance of adversity was at Dent Sports where he still finished first but finishing with a broken ankle!

Twice stitched up at Grassington Hospital as it was at the time, after Kilnsey, and potted up at Kendal Infirmary en-route home after his Dent ordeal, these were the only occasions up to that point when he had ever been attended to, by any doctor or medic in his entire life. And, true to form, he would eventually remove both stitches and then remove the ankle cast himself.

While Kilnsey - where he triumphed on seven occasions and placed in the top four more than 20 times - was probably the Craven event where he was best known, Bill's prime speciality however, was on the longer steeper climbs. And in Craven, such a glorious example was best typified at the old Ingleton sports where, - on his debut at the event, - he shattered the record for the Ingleborough Mountain Race in 1952 by more than six minutes!

While “William the Conqueror’s” entire career, due to archaic AAA laws was almost entirely confined to the traditional shows, Sports and Scottish Games which all flourished during his competitive years, he did manage to break protocol on one occasion, in 1954, when he joined in at the back of the field and contested the marathon Vaux Lake District Mountain Trial. And, where he galloped right through the entire field and finished more than half an hour clear of the official winner. Also, regaling virtually every opponent whom he overtook along the way with quips of his chirpy indigenous banter.

It was indeed the Lakeland star’s chirpy colourful personality which helped to make him such the people’s favourite that he was. And, these homely glowing qualities allied to his multitude of deeds in fell races spanning almost four decades, deservedly earned him the much merited pseudonym of “Bill Teasdale King of the Fells”.

His funeral will take place at Eden Valley Crematorium on Monday, January 23 at 2pm.