The oldest living cricketer turned 110 this week.
Eileen Ash, a former international cricket player from Norwich, UK, celebrated her 110th birthday on Monday at the St. John’s House care home.
Ash played cricket for England from 1937 to 1949, according to a blog post from Castlemeadow Care, which runs St. John’s House. According to the blog post, Ash was awarded the achievement of being the oldest living international cricketer by Lord’s Cricket Ground in 2019.
She also worked for MI6, the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, during World War II and for the 11 years following the war, the blog post said.
Aside from her career achievements, Ash also passed her driving test at the age of 105, which was featured on an ITV reality show
Ash celebrated her birthday with friends and family and received dozens of cards and gifts from all over the world, including a card from Queen Elizabeth, according to SWNS.
She also received a personalized cricket bat and a professional portrait. Her family even surprised her by driving her beloved yellow Mini to the care home, where she could see it, according to Castlemeadow Care.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” Ash told Castlemeadow Care. “I’ve been so lucky in my life and have done some lovely things. I’ve been very close to my family and have been very lucky to have been healthy for so long.”
When asked what her secret to having a long life is, she told the care home it’s about “Being happy and smiling a lot, red wine, and keeping fit with yoga.”
Fiona Mawby, the well-being manager at St. John’s House, told SWNS that Ash is “cheeky, friendly and happy.”
“She’s just such a lovely lady – she wakes up with a smile,” Mawby said.
Mawby added that Ash received “over 100 birthday cards” and other well-wishes.
“The number of people who rang up to make sure she was having a fantastic day was overwhelming.”