A 75-year-old former postmaster spoke of his shock today when he was told his skull had grown back half a century after a terrible car crash.
Gordon Moore had a metal plate above his eyes and on the top of his skull, and when they removed it to treat an infection, surgeons were shocked to find the bone had completely regenerated underneath.
The new growth even followed a dent in his titanium plate caused by a subsequent car crash three years after his original operation.
Mr Moore, of Ridsdale, Northumberland, said: "They were amazed when they found it.
"Apparently it is very rare.
"The neurosurgeon said he had never seen anyone grow a complete skull before.
"But bone does grow, and it has had 50-odd years to do the growing."
Mr Moore, who has hit the headlines previously for his intrepid recent holidays to Iraq and Afghanistan, flipped his car while driving near Berwick in 1955, and underwent a life-saving operation.
A titanium plate was fitted, covering his forehead and above, and three years later when he crashed into a lamppost, it was dented when he banged his head on his rear-view mirror.
While travelling in Afghanistan two years ago, a small section of wire poked out of his forehead and needed to be removed.
Later, an infection was found, and medics were concerned the plate may need to be removed and replaced.
Mr Moore, a widower who helps at his son's shop six days a week, said his neurosurgeon, Param Bhattahiri, had good news after he awoke from the operation.
"He said 'I'm afraid we had to take the plate out. The good news is apparently you have grown a new skull'."
Wearing the plate never bothered Mr Moore, whose only legacy of the terrible crash was losing his sense of smell.
"I won't set the alarms off at the airport any more," he said.
His consultant told the Newcastle-based Evening Chronicle newspaper removing a plate after 50 years was very rare.
"We had no idea what we were going to find underneath, but I didn't expect to find a new skull."
Mr Moore said he was not troubled by headaches and never had a sensation that the skull was regenerating.
He remained fit, quit smoking 40 years ago and still enjoys a drink.
"A lot of people have asked if I like milk, for the calcium, and I do, but not excessively," he said.