Unofficially, Ted King thinks he is the oldest living bowler in the world.
At 102, he plays twice a week at Worthing Indoor Bowls Club and has even taken part in a competitive match this year.
Ted celebrated his birthday on April 7 with his family and met friends for Easter lunch at Offington Park Methodist Church last Tuesday.
He said: “I have had my hip replaced twice, so I can’t bend down as well as I used to. I can’t get right down so I tend to bump it a bit.
“It is a bit of physical effort and of course it is friendship, which helps. You have a laugh and a joke and sometimes an argument. You can have a drink and a meal.
“If it wasn’t for this and other things I don’t think I would be here. It makes a big difference to your life. You enjoy it and go home, and there is nobody there but at least you enjoyed it.”
Ted was born in Wolverhampton in 1915 and played football for Wolves’ junior side as a boy, as he attended St Luke’s Church School in Blakenhall, where the club started.
He was even approached by West Bromwich Albion but his budding football career was short lived as his father told him to ‘go and get a proper job’ instead.
Ted ended up in charge of a drawing office at an engineering firm and designed deisel engines. He also worked on Spitfire engines during the war.
He has always been sporty and met his wife, Marjorie, at a tennis club. Since she died in 1999, he has found bowling and the church have kept him going.
“Again you are mixing with people, it makes a big difference to your life. You mustn’t be lonely,” he said.
“I have been very lucky. I have lived through two wars but I have had my health.”
He has been a member of Offington Park Methodist Church since 1964 and goes every Sunday, as well as to the Tuesday Lunch and Social Club.
Lay worker Adam Cook said: “Ted is quite something. He still takes the collection at the church and if someone drops their money, he will bend down and pick it up.”
Ted has two children and his son Martin is also involved with the church, helping out with the transport.
Ted started playing bowls because he broke his achilles tendon playing tennis at West Worthing Tennis Club and needed a new sport.
He played competitive games last season but has played only one competitive game this year, with a partner.
“I played ten ends, they played 11,” he said. “I simply can’t play the full three hours any more. I enjoy roll ups for a couple of hours.
“I am the oldest on the planet according to the internet but I can’t confirm.”
His other hobbies including painting watercolours.
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