Sport proves the key to a long life for Jack

Jack Chapman celebrates his 100th birthday with daughter Jean Baird and her husband Ian. 
Picture Mark Westley

Jack Chapman celebrates his 100th birthday with daughter Jean Baird and her husband Ian. Picture Mark Westley

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Playing sport, not smoking and cryptic crosswords.

These are the secrets to a long life according to Jack Chapman – and his family.

Mr Chapman celebrated his 100th birthday on February 1 at home in Redgrave, with a two-day party for friends.

“I can’t reason it,” said Mr Chapman, who was at one time also an accountant for the Bury Free Press.

“I have never smoked, always been interested in keeping fit through sport, so that must be my secret.”

Mr Chapman, who was born in Wisbech in 1917, began his career as a wages clerk before working in accounts for the RAF during WWII and then later for the EMAP publishing company, based in Peterborough.

He was married to Elsie for 73 years after the couple met when they were teenagers.

A keen sports fan, he also played rugby for Stamford and bowls for Cambridgeshire.

“He doesn’t even look 100,” said his daughter,” Jean Baird, 71.

“And even today he still keeps himself physically and mentally active with holidays and cryptic crosswords.”