PNE’s oldest fan turns 102

Celebrations: Bernard Jones is enjoying life at 102
Celebrations: Bernard Jones is enjoying life at 102
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It was cheers all round as Preston North End’s oldest supporter celebrated his 102nd birthday.

Bernard Jones, who still tries to get to games at Deepdale, marked the milestone with a family lunch.

The great-grandad, who was born in Ruthin, North Wales, ‘adopted’ the club after listening on the radio to the FA Cup Final in 1938, when George Mutch scored the winning goal.

Fortuitously, he was to meet and marry Preston girl Josephine at the end of the war, and settled up north.

Although his age means he has relinquished his Deepdale season ticket, it’s still his main interest.

Daughter Maggie Waltham said: “He’s a really easy-going, independent man and he loves gardening and football.

“He still tries to get on the odd game or two at Deepdale when it’s not too cold, and he’s been watching all the World Cup recently.”

She added: “We had a lovely meal out on his birthday.

“It was a lovely occasion and everyone really enjoyed themselves.”

Bernard, one of 10 children, was a Quartermaster sergeant in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers during the Second World War, serving in Madagascar and Burma.

After the war, he worked as a motor mechanic at a garage in Fulwood, and still lives in the same house in Broughton he bought in 1948 with his wife, who died in 2001.

Maggie believes spending a lot of time in the fresh air enjoying gardening is the secret to her dad’s longevity.