Frank at 101 is probably Britain’s oldest carer—and still goes to football
PUBLISHED: 09:01 28 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:50 05 October 2010
ONE of Britain’s oldest football supporters celebrates his 101st birthday this week—and still goes to matches. But Frank Whipple is also thought to be Britain’s oldest carer, looking after his disabled daughter Peggy at their home in London’s East End. Peggy turns 64 next month
ONE of Britain’s oldest football supporters celebrates his 101st birthday this week—and still goes to matches.
But Frank Whipple is also thought to be Britain’s oldest carer, looking after his disabled daughter Peggy at their home in London’s East End. Peggy turns 64 next month.
Frank washes her clothes, prepares breakfast, cooks the evening meal and washes up.
The two have lived in their cosy flat at Rhodeswell Road in Limehouse for the last 30 years and now have help from social services with shopping, ironing and regular visits.
But all Frank receives is just £25 a week carer’s allowance, which he has been receiving only since 2004—when he was 97!
“Peggy’s a joy,” he says. “I would be lost and would be a vegetable without her.
“I like to keep a little bit busy. It keeps my mind active.”
He has been cheering on Millwall from the terraces for 90 years, clocking up around 3,500 matches.
Frank’s first game at The Den was in 1918, when he was 11, watching Millwall face Arsenal in the London Combinations league. He thinks Millwall won 1-0.
The Whipples moved to the East End from Ireland in 1916, when Frank was nine. He left school at 14 to work in the Surrey Docks, then in a tailor’s in the East End’s garment district till he was 60 when he got a job with a firm of City solicitors.
But Frank was lucky to survive even to 40, he will tell you. He was a police reservist around the London Docks area during the Second World War, facing nightly air raids right through the Blitz.
“It was a horrible experience, patrolling the streets of Wapping,” he recalls. “I had a few narrow escapes, having to sit down on the Thames watching the bombs come down.”
But the Millwall fan made it. He celebrated his centenary this time last year when he was treated to a slap up meal in the directors’ box at The Den.
He still goes to matches—and takes along his son Harry, now turned 69, and grandson Andrew who is 42.