Bromley 100-year-old celebrates life of amateur boxing, Olympics and the cavalry (From News Shopper)
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Bromley 100-year-old celebrates life of amateur boxing, Olympics and the cavalry
A Second World War Major has celebrated his 100th birthday in Bromley after surviving a childhood in an orphanage, umpiring at the 1948 London Olympics and the scar which remains from his cavalry horse Attaboy. HELOISE WOOD finds out more.
BROMLEY centenarian Danny O’ Callaghan has revealed how his sporting prowess - including 156 victorious amateur boxing bouts - has kept him young.
Also known as the ‘Major’, he reached the milestone earlier this month, having survived a broken neck, an aortic aneurysm and three hip operations.
He celebrated with friends and family at Eversleigh Residential Home in Sundridge Avenue, Chislehurst.
The former cornet and French horn player enjoyed two birthday parties with guests including officers from his former Cavalry regiment, his dentist and Bromley mayor Councillor Enerst Noad.
Son David O’Callaghan explains how Danny's attitude in life has seen him through tough times.
He says: "He was born in Croydon in 1913 but by the time he was eight his mother his mother was dead, his father had disappeared.
"After he and his brother were separated from their other siblings and put it in an orphanage in Brighton.
"His fighting spirit was recognised early on and he was encouraged to take up boxing.
"My father was a schoolboy champion for two years in a row as a teenager and continued to represent Great Britain. He became the Inter Service Boxing Champion and won all of his 156 amateur boxing bouts.
He added: "He joined the Calvary as a boy soldier and had a horse Attaboy which had served in the First World War. To this day he has a red mark on his back where the animal bit him."
Following the war Danny became a skilled gymnast and was an official at the 1948 London Olympics as a fencing umpire and track official and met his wife Edith around the same time.
His dogged determination has seen him continue well into the 21st century.
David explains: "He has a very strong constitution having survived a broken neck, an aortic aneurysm, and three major hip operations."
Danny explains to the News Shopper the secret behind his longevity.
He says: "I don't feel as old I am - it's a bit ridiculous. I think the exercise and sport helped me reach a good age.
"I have all my own hair and teeth and I brush my teeth for an hour each day.
"I had a lot of fun in the cavalry and sometimes go to sleep thinking about it. I didn't think about the dangers of it."
Milan Chung, who works at Eversleigh Residential Home, where has lived since 2011, says: "He is very fit and you would never guess he was 100.
"He really enjoyed his birthday and actually had two parties and as well as friends and family, guests included the Bromley mayor, cavalry officers and even his dentist."
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