A Wolverhampton Wanderers supporter has celebrated her 101st birthday this week.
Yesterday (Wednesday 8 July) life-long Wolves fan Tilly Mattox marked her milestone birthday at Sanctuary Care’s Highcroft Hall Residential Care Home in Bushbury, Wolverhampton, where she has lived for a year and a half.
Secrets to reaching 101
Tilly said she can’t believe how time has flown by. “It’s gone so quickly since my 100th birthday,” she said. “I have had a happy life with all my family around me and I feel it’s a lovely achievement to reach this age.”
Tilly put her secret to reaching such a great age down to “the good upbringing that my parents gave me, the way my family has looked after me and good caring staff at the home. I have had a good life, never smoked or been a drinker. I don’t feel 100 – maybe about mid 80s!”
Daughter Margaret added: “I am so proud of her, we all are. We like to visit her most days because time is precious. She is so well looked after at Highcroft Hall and says she couldn’t be in a nicer place.”
Marriage, children and the war
One of nine children – with her last surviving sibling Violet passing away at the age of 105 – Tilly was born in Star Street, Bradmore.
On Boxing Day 1934 she wed childhood sweetheart Norman at the age of 20, enjoying an incredibly happy marriage until he sadly died in 1989.
The couple had four children Margaret, Norman, Colin and Raymond - who passed away at the age of 75.
When the war broke out in 1939, Norman was called to serve with the army and was posted away from the family for six years.
Margaret said: “Mum brought us up on her own. They were very hard years as there was also rationing. When dad came out of the army there was no work for the men so they struggled, but they were still very happy years and she made the best of life.
“She was a lovely, gentle mum and very affectionate. She was always the head of the family and was always in charge. We were a very close, happy family. She has always been here for us and we are there for her - and always have been.”
During her working life Tilly made batteries at the Eveready factory in Wolverhampton’s Park Lane, where she worked until she was 60.
Tilly, who has 10 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and three great great-grandchildren, has always been a keen follower of football and supports Wolverhampton Wanderers.
She said: “I always loved going to see them play, especially with my sons and it was always extra special if they won whether it was at home or away.”
Special celebrations at Highcroft Hall
The home’s activities leader Jayne Woods added: “Tilly is such a wonderfully kind and gentle lady. She is so caring and we are so proud to have celebrated her special day with her and her family.”