DICKIE Bird celebrated a very special birthday this week.

The retired cricket umpire celebrated his 90th birthday on Wednesday.

Dickie Bird, of Paddock Road, Staincross, marked his special day with some of his former cricket players joining in the celebrations at a dinner party in Headingley, Leeds.

“Turning 90 is a real achievement – I’m generally still fit, active and healthy and manage to get around considering my age,” Dickie said.

“My GP always tells me I should remain active for as long as I can – because a healthy mind is an occupied one.

“Don’t get me wrong, running isn’t easy at this age, but doing it has kept me here and has allowed me to live a good, long life.”

Dickie said that, in total, around 300 people attended his party, including one of his dearest friends, Sir Michael Parkinson, who travelled up from Windsor especially for the occasion.

He added: “It was great to see everyone come together for me – and to have a catch-up with some old players.

“I feel privileged to still be here at 90 and to have my health – the absolute key to a long life is to stay active and get yourself out and about.

“Exercise does great things for the mind.”