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Centenarian Enjoys Proact VIP Experience

7 April 2014

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Centenarian Gladys Smith was treated to VIP hospitality at the Proact on Saturday as she attended a football match for the first time in her life.

Gladys, who celebrated her 100th birthday on Mother's Day, was thrilled to receive an invitation to attend the Newport match with members of her family, including daughters Pauline and Linda, son Brian and grand-daughters Julie and Jane.

After being given a tour of the stadium, Gladys enjoyed a meal in the Leengate Legends Lounge with her fellow diners before presenting the match ball to the referee on the pitch before kick-off. 

Walking back from the centre circle to the side of the pitch, Gladys waved to acknowledge fans in the HTM Products West Stand who gave her a standing ovation.

After the match, Gladys said: "It was absolutely marvellous - I've not come down yet! I thought I might be frightened when I went out on the pitch in front of thousands of people, but I wasn't.

"I've never been to anything like it. Everybody at the club was so nice to me. I've enjoyed everything surrounding my birthday, but this has put the top hat on it."

Nick Johnson, Chesterfield's head of media and communications, lives near Gladys and he arranged for her to watch the Spireites in style after learning that she had never been to a football match. "I was delighted to be able to provide Gladys and her family with a memorable experience to mark her 100th birthday," he said. "With her zest for life and positive outlook, she is truly an inspiration."

Gladys, who lives in Apperknowle, is now looking forward to her next new experience. When asked what was next on her wish-list, she said: "I want to go up in a hot air balloon!"

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