Superfit Brian Sampson still turns out for his local club most Saturday afternoons despite being three times the age of most of his teammates.
The dad-of-two, who has one granddaughter, has played a gruelling 57 seasons and still plays regularly for Oakham Rugby Club.
Brian normally plays for the 2nd team but impressed coaches with his dogged performances and was recently promoted to the 1st team.
The divorcee said: “I still love playing and I think I’ve got the same energy I had when I was playing 20 or 30 years ago.
“I haven’t played first team rugby for decades but on Saturday I joined the first team for a match against Stockwood Park in Luton.
“I opposition team looked a bit surprised when they saw me warming up on the sideline, I think they thought I was someone’s granddad.
“They scored four tries in the first half but when I came on in the second half they only scored one so I must have been doing something right.
“I have no plans to hang up my boots. As long as I keep getting picked, I’ll keep playing. It keeps me young.”
Brian made his debut in 1966 after coming through the ranks of the juniors at various Leicestershire teams before breaking into the senior squads.
Since then Brian has played around 2,000 games and says his secret to keeping match fit is downing a pint of orange squash mixed with an energy drink after the final whistle.
He used to play full-back and now supports the scrum in the second row for the Leicestershire team.
He celebrated his 76th birthday on Sunday (5/11) making him the UK’s oldest amateur player. He added: “What I lack in a bit of pace I make up with experience, I’ve certainly got that so I can read the game a bit better so make sure I’m in the right place.
“Sometimes we get a new young player join the team and they’ll ask, ‘how old is that bloke, he’s older than my grandad’ but when they see my play they usually come up to me and say ‘fair play mate, you’ve still got it’.
“I’ve had a few things said in the past, but the opponents are usually quite nice and say ‘well done’ afterwards.
“It’s the interaction with other people I enjoy.
“It’s a good social activity that gets you out and about which is even more important for older people like me.” Brian played rugby for the first time at junior school in the 1950s when Harold Macmillan was Prime Minister.
He then moved to Leicestershire to pursue a career in agriculture and whilst at college in 1965, he joined the Leicester Tigers as a full-back.
He stayed at the club and was their top points scorer for four seasons and represented them at Second and Third XV level.
Following this, a new job with a tractor company took him to Harrogate, where he became a mainstay of the First XV.
He then went overseas to Nigeria for farming work and spent 12 years in Africa, where he continued to play rugby in his spare time.
In the late 1980s, Brian returned to the UK to play for Oakham RFC and hasn’t missed a season since. Brian, who lives less than a mile away from the club, said: “I used to go training quite a lot, but for the last five years I’ve had this place so I’m out in the fresh air carting bales about.
“I have a pint of squash mixed with an isotonic energy drink after every game and that stops me feeling too achy the next day.
“I know I won’t go on forever, but I’ve got no desire to stop. All I’m thinking about now is the next game.”