Octogenarian is 'as impressive and well-preserved' as Sean Connery

ONE found fame on screen as a suave secret agent, the other was a real-life war hero.

While the film legend would go on to become a multi-millionaire with homes around the world, the ex-soldier has experienced a rather more humble retirement, enjoying the odd game of bowls.

But Edinburgh pensioner Bill Lamond does have one thing in common with Bond legend Sean Connery – their youthful good looks.

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Mr Lamond has just beaten off competition from around the world to be named the octogenarian as "impressive and well-preserved" as Connery, who turns 80 this year.

At 83 years old, Mr Lamond, from Craigleith, is four years older than the 007 star. But the Royal Society of Chemistry judged he looked equally as good after launching their search earlier this year.

They received hundreds of entries in their quest to find an octogenarian who could rival Sir Sean. The competition was to highlight how scientific advances have helped us live longer, healthier lives.

While Fountainbridge-born Connery found fame as Bond and in war films such as A Bridge Too Far, Mr Lamond is a real life "action hero". As a paratrooper, he was involved in the liberation of Norway in 1945.

Unlike the ex-bodybuilder, Mr Lamond has done little sport since playing football in the army. But he enjoys bowling and walking, and puts his good looks and health down to "good Lothian air".

His wife May said she was not surprised her husband had won. She said: "I saw this picture of Sean Connery in the Evening News, and they were asking if there were any other good-looking 80-year-olds. And I thought my husband is better looking than that."

Mr Lamond was born in Winchburgh, West Lothian, and worked as an apprentice brass finisher after leaving school. He joined the 1st Airborne Division of the Parachute Regiment in 1944, and helped liberate Norway in the last days of the Second World War. Afterwards he served in the Middle East and Libya.

He then worked as an engineer and in the editorial library at the Scottish Daily Mail. He then moved to Scottish Widows, where he worked until his retirement.

He met May at a dance hall when he was 21 and she was 19, and the couple married in 1954. Their daughter lives in California, and they have two grandchildren.

Mr Lamond believes his good health is due to a healthy country upbringing in West Lothian, where he spent his spare time helping on a local farm. He enjoyed playing football during the war, but now keeps active by walking and bowling.

He said: "I have no secrets to staying healthy. I couldn't have wished for a better marriage, and my dear wife is the love of my life. There must be something about the air in the Lothians that keeps people looking young!"

Mr Lamond wins 300, a 20-year subscription to Chemistry World magazine, and a selection of Sean Connery DVDs.

Brian Emsley, media relations manager of the Royal Society, said they had had entries from all around the world, including several Sean Connery-lookalikes.

He said: "Bill was the obvious winner. We're big admirers of Sean Connery, but while he is an action hero in films, Bill was in real life. He has never worked out or tried to keep fit, but he looks very impressive and great for his age.

"We wanted to attract attention to the fact that advances in science mean people have longer, healthier lives."

MILKMAN VERSUS BRASS FINISHER

SEAN CONNERY

Age: 79

Lives: Bahamas

First job: Milkman

Favourite sports: Golf, body building

Major achievements: Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in The Untouchables, Knighthood.

Marriages: Two, first to Diane Cilento, then Micheline Roquebrune

Number of grandchildren: One

BILL LAMOND

Age: 83

Lives: Craigleith

First job: Apprentice brass finisher

Favourite sport: Bowling

Major achievements: Scroll from Norwegian government for his part in its liberation.

Marriages: One, to May, for 56 years.

Number of grandchildren: Two