A grandfather has been named as Britain’s oldest RUGBY player – aged 67.
Flanker Stephen ‘Yiendy’ Yiend first started playing for his local team 42 years ago.
He has continued to play despite breaking an arm, leg and his collarbone during his player career.
The retired engineer is fit enough to leap up and catch the ball during lineouts and starts every game for Cheltenham Civil Service’s second team in Gloucestershire.
And 13st Stephen, a grandfather-of-two, believes he can carry on until he is 70.
He said: “I’m lucky with my physique because that is what has kept me going.
“If I’m playing a match on the weekend I have aches and pains until Wednesday but the soreness is worth it because I just love playing rugby.
“My body is alright but when I look in the mirror and see a bald head I think ‘What’s going on? Who is this bloke?”’.
Stephen, who worked as an engineer for 34 years, hasn’t let a string of serious injuries set him back.
He broke an arm 20 years ago in a tackle after a “silly” pass from his scrum half left him flattened by a ‘big second row’.
Twelve years ago, he thought his days playing rugby were over after breaking his leg below the knee.
It happened after a head on tackle and left him in a cast for two and half months.
Stephen, who also broke his collarbone two years ago after going to ground on a frozen pitch, says ‘you can’t think about injuries when you go to tackle people again’.
He added: “I’ve lost a bit of pace over the years and have moved from winger to flanker but I still love putting a tackle in.
“Sometimes it’s hard in training but when you get on the field for a match it’s different altogether.
“I love lineouts and, I must admit, I’m quite good at them.”
Stephen played against Tewkesbury at the weekend as Civil Service lost 15 – 5 in the Gloucester 2 league on Saturday.
They are eighth in the table with one win and three losses.
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