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Meet the Aberdeen 99-year-old who still hits the gym

Stanley Smith, a member at Bannatyne's Gym, has turned 99.
Stanley Smith, a member at Bannatyne's Gym, has turned 99.

A pensioner who still works out at the gym celebrated his 99th birthday at a party thrown by his sporty friends.

Stan Smith has been a member of Bannatyne Health Club in Danestone for 11 years, and attended three times a week until he had a bad turn last winter.

He still hopes to get along to use the cross trainers, exercise bikes and treadmills when he can.

The many friends he has made there threw him a birthday party this week.

The Hilton resident said: “It was very good of my friends to put this on.

“The mantelpiece and walls at home are lined with cards too – I have enjoyed it all.”

Mr Smith served in Africa in the Second World War with the Royal Air Force.

He was home by 1948, when he married his wife Margaret before having three children.

She died in an accident in 2010.

Stan Smith with his family and friends.

Always active, he took up martial arts with Aberdeen Judo Club in the 1960s, and swam regularly at a pool in Torry.

Then, while his son Alan was at school, he discovered a love of hill-walking.

“I used to do a Munro every weekend”, the grandfather-of-two said.

Alan said his dad had always been active.

He added: “I had to take his ice axe away from him when he was 84.

“My father found himself in difficulty in deep snow on Lochnagar and that was the realisation he should not be going out by himself.

“He was a very keen walker though, and we have a photo of him at the top of Braeriach when he was 88.”

The Cairngorms mountain is the third-highest in Britain.

Alan added: “He would say what has got him to this age quite simply is two or three glasses of red wine a night.

“His absence from the gym has been driving him round the bend – he misses the rush.”

His birthday party was organised by one of the friends he made at the gym, Ian Jones.

They would talk while Stan was in using the machines and the weights.

Mr Jones said: “We give him a card and a bottle of wine for his birthday every year.

“I have made Stan a promise to give him 100 bottles on his next one.”

 

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