Derek Eley is now a centenarian and says he is so lucky to have received 131 cards from friends and family.
He said: “I didn’t want any fuss but people keep organising parties and get-togethers for me which is lovely.”
Derek, who is a father-of-two and was married to his late wife Mary for 28 years, said: “I’m lucky I’ve still got my health and my mind.
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“There is no secret to old age just luck and kindness. If you are kind and nice to people, most people will be nice back to you and that’s how I live my life.”
Derek was called to fight for the Second World War in 1939, leaving his job at Ferodo and became a colour sergeant honoured with a British Empire Medal.
While serving he wrote to the chairman of the Football Association and asked for tickets to the FA Cup final for when it re-started. In 1946 with the free tickets he saw Derby County, win 4-1 at Wembley Stadium. He also saw the World Cup in 1966 and was at the final when England beat Germany.
Derek said: “I went back to Ferodo but moved departments so I wasn’t taking a job from a returning soldier with kiddies.”
He celebrated with several parties but said the icing on the cake was seeing his son who lives in Australia for the first time in 13 years and his daughter who had a been unwell in recent weeks.