Sprightly Bob Clarke proves he’s not passed his best – by turning out for his local football team at SEVENTY-FIVE.
The veteran playmaker takes to the field in a grueling midfield role and is one of the country’s oldest players.
Evergreen Bob took up the beautiful game at 10 and has clocked up an astonishing 2,000 appearances in 65 years.
He can easily keep pace with teammates half his age at Georgeham and Croyde FC, a veterans side in North Devon.
He lines up alongside his son Simon, 47, who plays in the same team.
And despite his elderly frame Bob’s not one to pull out of a tackle – picking up his last yellow card at the age of 73.
The grandfather was born the same year as the first fully televised FA Cup Final and remembers paying 3s 6d for his first set of boots – less than 20p today.
He puts his amazing longevity down to a strict diet and a weekly workout regime that includes four games of tennis, two rounds of golf, aerobics, zumba and taekwondo.
Bob said: “The secret is doing something every day and eating good food. I never eat anything out of a tin or packet.
“I would never eat pizza or McDonald’s, or drink Coca-Cola.
“My mother told me when I was about 35 to start drinking cider-vinegar and honey to avoid arthritis. I drink it every day, a pint a day.
“I eat lots of vegetables, fruit, and white meat. For breakfast I always have pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, porridge and a banana mixed up”.
There was nothing premier league about the changing room facilities that Bob endured when he first starting playing as a kid.
He said: “We had no electricity, no bathroom, no inside toilet.
“You would bring the bath in, sit it in the kitchen scullery, fill it with hot water and take it in turns – the oldest one got the clean water”.
Bob said his first pair of football boots were like “big, tough bulbous toecaps”.
He added: “You would wear them in the bath to soften them or sit on the draining board with your feet in the sink. Then you would put dubbin on them.”
Bob’s wife Madge still faithfully turns up to cheer him on after decades on the sidelines.
She could soon find herself rooting for three generations of her family.
Bob added: “My ambition is to play in the same team as my son and grandson Joe. He’s a good player, he’s 13”.