Wheels of steel! Ex-Saxon star beats a stroke

MEXBOROUGH heavy metal axeman Graham Oliver is still crashing out the chords... DESPITE suffering a stroke which left him without feeling in one of his arms.

And the guitar hero - who toured the world as a founder-member of legendary rock band Saxon - says his condition could have been much worse... if he hadn't led such a healthy life!

Graham, 57 told the Times how he discovered he had the stroke, in January this year.

"I was getting into bed and my wife saw my face fall - it was just like the advert on the TV. You don't know what is happening to yourself. My arm went numb for a brief period".

Over the weeks, the feeling returned, and Graham has been able to resume practising and jam with his mate Steve Dawson from his own band Oliver Dawson Saxon.

Said Graham: "Having something like this happen to you without warning leaves you a bit cautious.

"Every little odd feeling in your head, you wonder if something else is happening but I suppose I will get over that in time."Clean-living Graham went on: "I am 57 years old I don't drink or smoke.

"People have said to me: "With your opportunities in the past, you could have done anything .

"Perhaps I survived this because I didn't. When you are young and in a band on the road you go off and get involved in all sorts of things.

"The last thing on your mind is what could happen to you."

Graham and Saxon - led by singer Biff Byford - parted company in the late 90s, but the band rejected the excessive activities of their tour mates like Ozzy Ozbourne and Mottley Crue.

During the 1980s Saxon famously pointed out to and interviewer in a music weekly that they only had one addiction - to TEA.