A SCOT who reached his 100th birthday earlier this month has been revealed as the oldest paperboy in Britain.
Second World War veteran Walter Sharp, who has lived in Camelon, Falkirk almost all his life, took on the task when he retired in 1979.
Up at 6:30am every day to pick up the papers for his neighbours from the local newsagent, the pensioner credits the job with helping him reach his 100th year.
He said: “If you keep walking, you’ll keep living. I’m up with the larks picking up papers for the neighbours. I certainly don’t feel 100.”
Despite having to take ten heart and blood pressure tablets a day to keep him ticking along, Mr Sharp is undaunted by the weather, and come rain or shine he picks up the day’s papers for his neighbours accompanied by his West Highland terrier, Harry.
His son Brian, 67, a retired accountant, said that his father’s early morning round meant that his 100th birthday would not pass unnoticed by the town’s residents: “He’s probably the oldest paperboy in the world.
“He’s quite a character. He is overwhelmed by all the cards he’s had and wants to thank everyone who sent one.
“He has received 108 cards so far, a lot of them from people he meets out walking Harry and local shop owners who all know and love him and Harry who are inseparable. The Provost was here chatting for an hour-and-a-half on his birthday.
“We speak to him three times a day but have to call him later on Wednesdays and Thursdays when he watches the Prime Minister’s and First Minister’s Questions.”
Local newsagent Shahid Asghar, from whom the pensioner collects his papers, said: “Mr Sharp is first at the door every morning. He looks years younger and has the stamina of someone half his age.”
He was the youngest of five children, born on 7 August, 1914 just three days after the start of the First World War. A lifelong fan of local club East Stirlingshire FC, Mr Sharp’s links with the team stretches back to the 1800s, when his father Robert was a goalkeeper for the side, and his jersey from the 1884/5 season is the oldest one on display at Hampden Stadium.
A veteran of the D-Day landings, Mr Sharp saw action in North Africa and Italy. It was while serving in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps that he met his late wife Doris, who passed away in 1990.
After he was demobbed, the couple returned to Camelon where he worked as a storeman in the Carmuirs Iron Foundry and Alexander’s coach builders, at a time when the town was renowned for its iron works, right up until his retirement.
Despite his advancing years, Mr Sharp remains fiercely independent, and refused presents for his landmark birthday.
Instead, he asked friends to donate money to Forth Valley Talking Newspapers for the blind which enables people with poor or no eyesight to catch up the news. He said: “I just want to be a good neighbour and help others. You are never too old to lend a hand.”