Spurs fan visited by sporting hero on 100th birthday

Ron Roberts from Royston was given a signed photo by former Tottenham Hotspur player Gary Mabbutt to mark his 100th birthday 

Ron Roberts from Royston was given a signed photo by former Tottenham Hotspur player Gary Mabbutt to mark his 100th birthday - Credit: Kay Smedley

A 100-year-old Tottenham Hotspur fan from Royston was paid a surprise visit by his football hero to mark his milestone birthday.

Ron Roberts from Royston received a birthday card from the Queen to mark turning 100

Ron Roberts from Royston received a birthday card from the Queen to mark turning 100 - Credit: Kay Smedley

Ron Roberts met former footballer Gary Mabbutt - who played for Spurs for 16 years from 1981 to 1998.

Gary visited Ron at his home on Sunday, and signed Ron's shirt from the 20/21 team as well as giving Ron a signed photo of himself.

Ron's niece Kay Smedley said: "Gary, bless him, had only just flown back from his holiday the night before, but kept his word and stayed with us - the family - for most of the afternoon.

"Gary has been a source of comfort to many elderly Tottenham Hotspur fans during this pandemic, telephoning them and chatting to them, as he thought this was a way he could help to alleviate some of their loneliness, and he phoned my uncle twice last year on his 99th birthday.

"If you Google Gary you will see what a really special person he is. He has Type 1 diabetes and is a champion for diabetes' charities. He's also doing so much in the background on a global stage for football.

"The family was so excited about this Spurs and football legend visiting Ron and I don't think any of us thought what a lovely man he is, and so thoughtful."

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To celebrate his centenary, Ron's son Philip and daughter-in-law Linda visited and arranged two buffets for Saturday and Sunday.

Kay added that the weekend was a success - with many members of the family attending the celebrations and enjoying two chocolate birthday cakes, because Ron loves chocolate.

After the visit, Ron told the Crow: "It was very informative and very thoughtful of him to spend the time to come here.

"He's a wonderful ambassador for the sport."

Ron was born in Tottenham and was a Spurs fan from the age of eight. He was conscripted into the RAF during the Second World War and sent to India.

He later married his first wife Rene and had two sons - Graham and Philip. Sadly his wife died and he later married Audrey and moved to Royston, becoming a stepfather to her children.

After Audrey's death Ron remained independent and lives at home with visits from his family, some home help and neighbours.

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