An inspirational Wolverhampton Wanderers supporter will celebrate her 102nd birthday today.
Life-long Wolves fan Tilly Mattox will celebrate her milestone birthday at Sanctuary Care’s Highcroft Hall Residential Care Home in Bushbury, Wolverhampton, where she has lived for two and a half years.
When asked her secret to reaching such a great age the incredible birthday girl said: “It’s just the good upbringing by my parents. I have had a good life and have been blessed with my family. I have never smoked or been a drinker.”
Talking about what she loved most about being 102 she added: “Still being able to have a laugh and a joke with my family and the wonderful staff at Highcroft Hall. It’s quite an achievement reaching this age.”
Tilly said she can’t believe how time has flown by. “It’s gone so quickly since my 100th birthday.”
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.”
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.”
When asked what Tilly’s secret to reaching such a wonderful age was, Margaret said: “She has taken life as it comes and has just got on with it. She is a very strong person.”
The home’s manager Andrew Greenway said: “Tilly is an inspiration to us all. She is just incredible and never ceases to amaze us. Every day she is full of smiles – she is a pleasure to be around. We are enormously proud of her and are very pleased to be celebrating yet another milestone birthday with her.”