Stewart Adams discovery was Boots' most successful drug
Dr Stewart Adams is 88 and remains as sharp as a tack.
He recalls there were no celebrations 50 years ago because it was too early to anticipate that this compound would be such a success.
He lives in a modest house in Redhill, Arnold, his family home for 50 years.
He received a cheque from Boots for £4,000 for his work and was awarded an OBE by the Queen.
The son of a railwayman, Dr Adams left school in 1939, aged 16 and got a job as an apprentice pharmacist with a branch of Boots in March.
Three years later, with the help of a Boots scholarship, he moved to Nottingham to begin his pharmacy degree course at University College, now the University of Nottingham.
From there, he worked at the Boots factory in Daleside Road which made penicillin, then in huge demand because of those injured in the war.
On his return to Nottingham in 1953, having studied for his PhD at Leeds, he was given the task of finding a drug to treat rheumatism.
Cortico-steriods were being developed and, although highly effective, there were problems with safety and toxicity.
"That is when I started thinking about a compound which wasn't a steroid and had anti-inflammatory activity," said Dr Adams.
In those days, the firm was the Boots Pure Drug Company, hinting at the legacy of its founder, Jesse Boot, 100 years earlier.
Boots had become a player in the pharmaceutical world, albeit small. It had a horticultural division at Lenton and a veterinary division at Thurgarton.
Boots pulled out of drug research in 1995, finding it too expensive and instead concentrated on retailing.
Under the ownership of Italian billionaire Stefano Pessina, it is again researching medicines that can be sold over the counter just as Jesse Boot did more than 160 years ago.
There is no hubris about Dr Adams. Many think he should have been awarded a with a knighthood for his contribution to world health.
After all, when US forces raided Osama bin Laden's lair in Pakistan earlier this year, there in the cupboard was a bottle of Nurofen syrup.