FAME and fortune could be

beckoning for green-fingered Dave Thompson.

Dave, a keen amateur gardener from Yeadon, set up a gardening advice website in a potting shed-cum-computer room in an old broom cupboard beneath the stairs less than three months ago.

And now a top internet expert has tipped the unemployed 37-year-old to earn millions with his website - the Doctor Greenfingers gardening advice clinic.

Dave, pictured right, said: "A couple of internet entrepreneurs have recently been in touch with me about the possibility of buying into the site. All I need is someone to help market it, and I could be well on my way.

"It has been an unbelievable turn around. When I set the

website up at the end of January, I had no idea that it would lead to this level of interest - to have entrepreneurs already interested is phenomenal.

"I have also managed to get three sponsors on board, and one of the businesses is from Otley. "

Dave, who featured in the Wharfedale Observer in February, said that businesses had usually spent thousands of pounds designing and writing their websites - but he was just an ordinary man from Hawthorn Road who is on Family Credit.

"They pay designers thousands of pounds, yet what I have done has taken me since January," he said. "I've put a lot of work in, 17 hour days usually, to get where I am. Now the future seems to be opening up for me."

Dave's business possibilities have opened up ever since he registered his website commercially.

And internet expert Professor Christine Leigh from Leeds University has said that Dave could be onto a winner.

"He could make lots of money, millions if a big company or a very successful company saw that his activity was complementary."

Dave, who is married to Susan, has become something of a celebrity amongst his growing number of fans in the United States, Japan and Canada. The doctor of all things horticultural said that his name is well known in gardening circles Stateside.

He has also been invited to the BBC's Gardeners World Show at the NEC in Birmingham in June and recently appeared on Calendar on Yorkshire Television and claims a number of national newspapers are interested in his potential rags to riches story.

Dave's website is based on a hospital and features an operating theatre, family planning clinic and a maternity ward. It even has an accident and emergency department.

Gardening beginners can click on to family planning for basic advice, while those with a gardening problem go straight to the accident and emergency department.

The website now has in excess of 100 pages and Dave is now seeking more backers. His address is WWW.DrGreenfing

ers.com. (Library pic)

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.