Trusty Joe Foster is Britain’s most reliable worker – he has NEVER taken a day off in 65 years.
The 81 year-old great-grandad started his first job delivering parcels when he was 15 and claims a 100 per cent attendance record ever since.
He joined the Army at 18, then worked in electrical maintenance and moved on to a local council before joining train operators Southeastern 31 years ago.
The dad-of-five is now a full-time train dispatcher at the commuter station of St. Mary Cray in Kent – and turns up every day like clockwork.
Evergreen Joe keeps fit by cycling to work daily from his home nearby, no matter what the weather, and say he has no plans to blow the whistle on his career.
He said: “I absolutely love my job. Why would I ever want to do anything else?
“I remember my first day all those years ago and thinking how exciting it was.
“A lot has changed in that time but I still take as much pride and satisfaction in my job today.”
Joe, who lives with Rose, 77, a retired train carriage cleaner, has to pass an annual medical for his job.
He says his secret to a healthy life is avoiding high cholesterol food and a Mediterranean diet with lots of fruit and vegetables.
He also has two cloves of garlic, two teaspoons of olive oil a day and a cod liver oil tablet for his bones and nails.
He added: “Keeping fit is important in this role as I have to pass an annual medical so I exercise by cycling to work and eating healthily.
“I also supplement this with a few extras which really help me to stay strong. It must be working as I have never taken a day off ill.”
He started on the railway 1984, beginning as an on board train conductor at East Croydon in Surrey before moving onto the platform.
He said: “We’re like a family here. Maybe I’m the elder statesman of the group but I like to think the younger ones enjoy having me around.
“I love working with others and this role allows me to go out and help all sorts of people every day.
“After working here for such a long period of time, I know most of the passengers, talk to them each day and always greet them with a smile.
“More than 30 years on I still go home feeling like I’ve done my best to help someone get from A to B, that’s why I’m still doing it now.
“I still love my job and will keep doing it for as long as possible.
“I have heard that many call me a living legend, which is lovely to hear and always makes me laugh.”
Commuter Nick Sharp, from Sevenoaks, Kent, said Joe always brightens his day.
He said: “Joe always puts a smile on my face. He is a shining example that age is just a number, having a laugh with Joe is the best part of my journey.
“He really is a living legend.”
Barbara Thomas, passenger services director at Southeastern said: “We’re so proud to have Joe working for us.
“He does an exceptional job helping our passengers through the station.
“His long service with Southeastern has been recognised internally and he will be on the front of our internal employee magazine in special recognition of his commitment to passengers.
“He really deserves it and we look forward to having him with us for many more years to come.”
Southeastern run more than 2,000 trains into London from Kent and East Sussex each day, carrying more than 640,000 passengers.
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