Imagine going to a cricket match just to watch the umpire. Charles Fenton, 92, was actually at the receiving end of such an honour. "Once three ladies came to watch because they'd heard about how old I was and they were asking me how I did it? How I stand there for all those hours? I just tell them because cricket is fascinating game to watch." After 61 years of officiating in the Derbyshire and Cheshire cricket league, Fenton will now hang up his coat from next season after insurers said they would only cover umpires up to the age of 85. The great grandfather, who stood in his first match way back in 1951, reveals the secrets of his longevity to Lucy Kinder in The Telegraph.
Mr Fenton said his love of cricket began after he watched Lancashire and England play at Old Trafford with his father during the 1940s. "My mother and father could not afford bats and kits because we were quite poor when I was young."
He disclosed the secrets behind being a successful umpire: "The secret of being a good umpire is that you don't try to be the boss, even though you are in charge, don't try to be the boss. Try and be one of the team. I get a lot of respect, and never have problems with the players. I'm so lucky."
Next month Mr Fenton will be presented with an award from the league to mark the end of his long service.
The league's honorary secretary, Mike Brown, said: "We hadn't realised the age limit on our insurance policy is 85. We said could he carry on if he found his own insurance but that was a non-starter.
"It's with great sadness that we've had to say goodbye to Charlie. We have our annual dinner on November 9 where we'll present him with something suitable to mark his many years of service."