An Oxford University college chef and butler have looked after students so well for more than 30 years they have been honoured with a special portrait.

The college commissioned noted artist Daphne Todd, past president of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, for the painting of Jim Murden and Kevin Egleston.

Prof Paul Langford, the Rector of Lincoln College, who suggested the tribute, said: "This is a quite extraordinary partnership devoted over many years to the service of the college and all its members, not least its students and alumni.

"We have no record of such a combination of two senior staff over such a long period of time."

Chef Mr Murden, 61, has been at Lincoln for 31 years, leaving a career as a chef in London and country house hotels to have more time for his family.

He said: "The Fellows of the college are lovely people to work with, and I have enjoyed looking after them."

Butler Kevin Egleston, also 61, has been at Lincoln for 26 years. He told the Oxford Mail that when he started he only planned to stay for six months, but decided to stay on. He added: "I still enjoy the job immensely."

Ms Todd said: "Jim and Kevin were fantastic when they were sitting for the painting - they worked incredibly hard.

"They had to sit in between doing their day jobs, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"It was hard for Kevin to maintain the pose because he is bending over about to serve a leg of lamb and it must have been quite a strain.

"At Christ Church in the 16th century there was a portrait painted of a college scullion but it's very rare for this sort of thing to happen.

"The Rector obviously recognised that the two of them made such a big difference to the lives of the students over all these years and had almost as much impact as the dons."

The portrait will be displayed in the College Hall, and was unveiled at a ceremony involving the Rector, Fellows, alumni, and the families of Mr Murden and Mr Egleston.

The portrait will also be exhibited in London next April at the Mall Galleries.