A resident at Ashcroft care home in Undercliffe, celebrating her 104th birthday has said the only present she wants is a man. 

Irene Avison, who is known as Mary, said she was hoping for a gentleman friend aged about 75 who owns a car so he can take her to dinner and the theatre. But she added there would definitely be “no funny business”. 

Mrs Avison was born at the New Inn in Yeadon and later worked in her uncle Ben Brown’s greengrocers. 

She said: “During the First World War, soldiers would come into the pub, put me on a chair and I’d sing “It’s a long way to Tipperary”. 

“My secret to a long life is dripping on bread with Marmite. I have lived all my life on dripping and bread, it’s my favourite thing to eat, I always enjoyed a tipple but now only enjoy a hot cup of tea with plenty of sugar.” 

She now lives at Anchor’s Ashcroft care home in Undercliffe. Manager Emma Ciccone said Mrs Avison is a lovely person who enjoys watching musicals and chatting. 

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