100th birthday bonus for big Brewers fan Leslie
A LIFELONG football fan has finally met his sporting heroes in a surprise treat to celebrate his 100th birthday.
Leslie Blood has been following Burton Albion since he was a young boy, rarely missing a home game until well into his 90s.
And yesterday, in honour of his centenary year, he was taken to St George's Park, the new national football centre which opened this week, to meet the players and manager of his favourite club.
Mr Blood, of Henhurst Hill, Burton, worked for more than 50 years in the Bass brewery in the town and spent his weekends following his local team.
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His son Adrian, 65, said his dad had no idea he was going to meet the side.
He said: "He loves Burton Albion.
"He started watching them when he was very young, back when they were known as Burton Town.
"He's wanted to meet them all for a long time. It's a real treat for him."
Mr Blood was taken to St George's Park, which was opened on Tuesday by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and played host to the England senior squad.
The new centre is also the training ground for Burton Albion.
Mr Blood was presented with a signed shirt and a message from the Queen by the team's players and chairman, Ben Robinson.
He was also given a slap-up meal at the ground, courtesy of the site's Hilton hotel .
Adrian said his father was also going to be whisked to Saturday's game between Burton Albion and Bristol Rovers in a limousine.
He said: "Getting to 100 is an achievement and I think it is down to everything in moderation.
"He worked at the brewery for 51 years but he only drank in moderation.
"Old age runs in the family. His sister was 103 when she died, and we have a 92-year-old and a 97-year-old in the family.
"One thing I can say, though: he loves his food. He will eat anything and everything."
Adrian said his father, who served in the RAF for two years during the Second World War, married his late wife, Lillian, when the couple were in their 20s.
They have five children – Freda, 76, Jennifer, 70, John, 68, Adrian 65, and Elizabeth, 59 – as well as five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Mr Bloor is still able to walk and capable of looking after himself.
Adrian said: "I help him with his shower and a few other things but mostly he can certainly take care of himself.
"He can make his own tea and dress himself. He's quite remarkable."
He said that while his father was now unable to go and see his beloved Albion regularly, he still followed the team closely.
"He'll always have the matches live on the radio and he knows all the players well, so meeting them was a real highlight."