THE Stourbridge Shorts Man is notorious for baring his legs all year round, seemingly oblivious to the attention he attracts.

But the man behind the shorts, who wishes only to be known as Lionel, is not only aware of his following, he embraces it.

He has been transformed into a local celebrity after a Facebook page was set up, dedicated to him and his choice of attire.

Although Lionel said he has no desire to see the page, which is liked by more than 3,000 people, he said the reaction he gets from the public is “positive”.

The former schoolteacher told the News: “I have been walking around like this for a long time, especially since I retired.

“I dress for my comfort and I think quite a lot of people would like to do the same. It’s a great feeling of freedom.”

Lionel’s quest for comfort meant that he even wore shorts to marry wife Gillian in 1999 as he believes suits are “an abomination”.

He added: “I don’t like to wear trousers and I’ve never felt happy wearing a suit, I’ve always felt that shorts are more comfortable.”

The 74-year-old, who runs a picture stall at Smithfield Market, Stourbridge, dons his shorts come rain or shine, leading many people to ask if he is cold.

He said: “I am probably more aware of the weather conditions than most people. You can get cold quickly but it doesn’t cause too much of a problem if you cover areas that are vulnerable.”

Although Lionel’s shorts are a wardrobe staple, he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of wearing trousers in the future but only if the weather gets “really bad”.