King’s Lynn woman celebrates 110th birthday

Vi Malin is celebrating her 110th birthday. Picture: Ian Burt

Vi Malin is celebrating her 110th birthday. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

At 110 years of age Vi Malin still talks animatedly about her favourite football team, Sheffield Wednesday.

Mrs Malin, who lives in King's Lynn, celebrated her birthday yesterday and proudly clutched a card from the football team she followed avidly with her late husband Jack.

The card was just one of many sent to Mrs Malin, believed to be the 13th oldest woman in Great Britain, and stood proudly alongside several sent by Her Majesty the Queen every year since she celebrated her 100th birthday.

'I never count the years, they just come and go. I have always had such good health but I didn't think I would live to this age,' said Mrs Malin, who was born Frances but known as Vi to her friends.

Colourful balloons and quaint table spreads transformed Lisbon Court, which provides housing with a care scheme, into a tea room for the afternoon where family and friends enjoyed sandwiches and cakes.

'I got I don't know how many cards. It was very surprising I never knew they were going to do all this. I think it's lovely. It's beautiful,' said the 110-year-old.

Mrs Malin said the day she got married was one of her happiest memories but her saddest times came when her mother and father George and Hannah Lloyd, drowned in the floods of January, 31 1953, in Winfarthing Avenue, South Lynn.

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Born in Ipswich, Vi later moved with her family to Sheffield, where her father was a pub landlord.

At the age of 10, Mrs Malin said she remembered her father taking her outside to watch a German Zeppelin bombing parts of Sheffield.

The 110-year-old, who worked at a shoe shop and as a debt collector during the Second World War, met her husband at 18, but it was not love at first sight.

'I didn't like him, my mother said 'that boy keeps coming why don't you speak to him and go out to him'. I said I didn't like him. But then we got talking and we used to go out on church outings and that is how we got to know each other.'

Mrs Malin, who moved to Lynn to be closer to Norfolk and Cambridgeshire family, said: 'When we got married my husband said 'I go to football every Saturday'. I thought 'I am not going to be left here on a Saturday, I am going with him'. So I started going to football matches.'

A year after her husband died in 1993 and at the age of 87 Mrs Malin, who had visited many places including Spain and Germany with Mr Malin, got on a plane to visit her niece in Canada.

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