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107 years young – surprise birthday party for Dolly

Created on Friday, July 21st, 2017
by Jo Maguire

Derwent Living surprised its oldest resident this week with a special birthday party featuring a visit from her favourite football stars.

Dolly with Derwent Living Chief Executive Peter McCormack

Dolly Smith saw in her 107th birthday at one of Derwent Living’s independent retirement living schemes in Derby, where she has lived for more than 30 years.

A lifelong supporter of Derby County Football Club, Dolly was treated to a visit from three ex-players – Roy McFarland, Roger Davies and Kevin Hector – who presented her with a personalised shirt and tickets to watch a match in one of the ground’s dedicated boxes.

Peter McCormack, chief executive at Derwent Living, said: “Dolly is one of our longest-standing residents, so it’s fantastic to be able to come and help her celebrate reaching such a milestone.

“We organised the visit from some of her favourite ex-Derby County players, which has helped make the day all the more special for her.

“On a personal level, it was an absolute privilege to meet such a remarkable and inspirational lady.”

Dolly was born in July 1910, in a railway cottage near Alfreton, Derbyshire, the second of four children. Having had three sons, Dolly now has four grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren and a great-great grandchild.

Ex-Derby players Roy McFarland, Roger Davies and Kevin Hector present Dolly with a personalised shirt

Despite her age, Dolly still lives a full life. Based in Alvaston in Derby, Beckitt Close is one of Derwent Living’s retirement schemes, which allows residents to live independently in self-contained flats, whilst also enjoying social activities.

Michael Ratcliffe, Dolly’s son said: “Mum has really enjoyed celebrating her birthday with her friends living on site. We’re a really close family, so it’s been lovely to be able to come together like this.

“The visit from the players has been brilliant, as supporting Derby County has been very big in our family for many generations. Mum has a lot of fond memories of Roy, Roger and Kevin playing for the club.”

Photos: Paul David Drabble Photography

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