A local Salford-born war hero celebrated his 100th birthday this month, and was treated to a military surprise party to honour it.
Bombardier Tom Jones has lived an eventful life.
After fighting in the Burma War and World War II, Tom is one of just a handful of war veterans with a Burma Star in the UK, and also has two stripes, a Royal artillery badge, and a VET badge to his name.
Only 17 when war first broke out, he joined as a volunteer with the 2\8 Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers Regiment, before he was called up with the 33rd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (Royal Artillery) in September 1939 and was stationed with the garrisons at the Princess Dock gun site to defend the Liverpool Docks during the Blitz until 1942.
From there, he was sent to Burma for four years, until October 1945 when he received the news that he could return home.
Just a month later, he married his childhood sweetheart Eileen, and they later went on to have two children, and six grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
Tom has lived at Bourke Gardens – a ForHousing residential home, which offers round-the-clock care and support – in Walkden for the past five years, and this is where he and his granddaughters, Carmel Jones, Rebecca Liivet, and Sarah Thornley, were joined by the 103rd Lancashire Artillery Volunteers Regiment Royal Artillery and fellow tenants for an afternoon of live music and fun for his centenary celebrations.
The Lancashire Artillery Band were on hand to add to the party spirit, and even played the regimental march of Tom’s old regiment.
After the performance, the band’s bagpiper led Tom outside in a procession so he and his family could meet more of the Lancashire Artillery Volunteers, and he then had his photo taken alongside a L118 Light Gun with his medals proudly on show.
When asked about reaching his milestone birthday, Tom comically admitted: “I don’t feel any different, and the lady from across the way said I don’t look 100, but if somebody could just get me a new pair of legs, that would be great.”
“It is an absolute honour to celebrate with Tom after all he has done for his country,” said Councillor John Mullen – Ceremonial Mayor of the City.
“It’s incredible to think that this brave Salford lad, who gave so much to Britain’s war effort and endured so many hardships, was just 23 years old when the war ended and has now celebrated his 100th birthday [and] we will never forget the bravery of men like Tom and we are all very proud of him.”
“It’s been our pleasure and honour to help him celebrate this special birthday,” added Hannah Ford, the Extra Care Scheme Manager at Bourke Gardens.
Featured Image – ForHousing
Portugal deny claims Ronaldo threatened to leave World Cup after being benched
Portugal have denied recent claims that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the 2022 World Cup after he was benched before their match against Switzerland.
Speaking in an official statement, the Portuguese FA rubbished a number of reports that their all-time leading goalscorer and national hero threatened to leave the tournament following manager Fernando Santos’ decision to drop him ahead of the game in the round of 16.
Ironically, the previous European champions weren’t left in short supply of goals, as they went on to win in a staggering 6-1 victory against the Swiss, with Ronaldo only coming on for 17 minutes at the end.
Nevertheless, the Portugal Football Federation (FPF) has insisted that no such conversation took place between the player and head coach Santos. As per national outlet A Bola, Ronaldo has apparently also made it clear that his country’s success at Qatar 2022 is his top priority.
The FPF went on to clarify in the statement: “Cristiano Ronaldo builds up a unique track record every day at the service of the national team and the country, which must be respected and which attests to the unquestionable degree of commitment to the national team.”
They also went on to thank him for his dedication and continued contribution to the squad by coming on as a substitute regardless of his reaction to being dropped.
The statement concludes by saying that the “players, coaches and FPF structure is, as it has been since the first day, fully committed and enthusiastic in building what the country wants to be Portugal’s best-ever participation in a World Cup.
Featured Image — Portugal/Cristiano Ronaldo (via Twitter)
Peter Kay issues heartfelt thanks to Manchester fans and teases ANOTHER big announcement
Peter Kay has sent a lovely message to fans in Manchester after making his triumphant return to the live scene last weekend.
The Bolton comedian has just ticked off the first two nights of a mammoth run at the AO Arena, which includes 42 Manchester shows between now and 2025.
On his opening night – his first real venture into the spotlight since he largely stepped away from the public eye 12 years ago – he was moved to tears by the standing ovation he received before he’d even started the show.
And now Peter has issued a heartfelt thank you message.
He said in a statement: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came to the first shows in Manchester.
“It was incredible to be part of such a happy experience.
“Everybody deserves a bit of joy. Here’s to a lot more in the shows to come!!”
And that’s not all – his post also hinted that there’s yet another announcement to come (because apparently more than 100 tour dates and breaking the internet with ticket demand wasn’t enough).